Thursday, March 10, 2011

40 Days: Day 33

This is my second to last week of the 40 days of yoga. I've been tempted to feel sad that it's coming to an end, but I know better than that - mostly because it doesn't have to end at all. True, after next Saturday we won't have our weekly workshops. There won't actually be any specific person telling me to keep a daily yoga practice, to meditate twice a day (!!!) and to eat mindfully. Whatever will I do?

Well: 40-days seems more like a mind-set than a program. It's the anti-restraint, despite the fact that 40-days implies a set time period with a beginning and an end. However, the practice and the support have been so rich and intense - it has officially done what my teachers said it would: it has entered my nervous system. Amidst this transformation, I've experienced yoga classes differently than ever before.

For one, I barely think about the poses - I think about the breath. Second, I've been mixing in some yin/restorative flow - a practice which brings up a lot of emotional sensations. Rather than weep and wail (although this happens and I'm not ashamed to cry during Shavasana), I've been letting these feelings manifest in a healthy way. And finally, and this goes beyond the yoga studio, I feel a stillness within that keeps me calmer than usual. When something negative rises up within me, I give it a name, I accept it and then I breathe through it - focusing my attention toward the more positive elements of my life.

So, I'm thinking: at the end of my 40 days, I'll drop the 40 and replace it with the word "every." Every-days. Whether or not this means I'll be practicing yoga everyday for the rest of my life isn't the point. It's not a rulebook, it's more of a songbook. It's always there, with the notes and words written out - available for me to pick up and sing. Every song is different just like every yoga practice is different just like every day is different. It's my intention to make it my own.