Thursday, 12 August 2010

After It All Went To The Dogs (and not the downward ones)

I haven't been writing here for ages and ages. Many reasons for that, none particularly good. :-) I'm back, not writing marathone texts, but shorter stuff. That just might be the thing to keep me on track. Baby steps. Or baby asana?

About a year and a half ago, I injured my back. I'm not quite sure what happened. I had been to an intense and energizing workshop, where I did a lot of stuff and movement patterns I hadn't done often. A couple of days after, during morning Mysore practice, my lower back felt like it was set on fire. My range of movement got very much reduced. The body was protecting itself. The day after, the pain got worse. Everything hurt. Practicing. Walking. Turning around in bed. Sitting. Tying my shoelaces Everything. I didn't know a body could hurt so much outside of a hospital.
And of course, this influenced my practice. It was painful and it got irregular. I was in pain for quite a long time. But practicing wasn't murderously painful all the time. After a while, I found that I started blaming the injury for every "irregularity" in my practice. My asana practice wasn't consistent: "Oh I injured my back a while ago". I took shortcuts: "Ah, I injured my back." I didn't feel like practicing: "Oh, there's this stuff happening in my lower back......" The wheel of excuses turned into a big "chicken-and-eg"-thing. I didn't know what came first: my laziness or the injury.

A slight shadow of recognition that I had resorted to lame excuses in order not to do my best was gnawing on some far corner of my consciousness. Now, I have always taken quite a bit of pride in my yogic athletic abilities and I have had a secret feeling of inferiority about the stuff I didn't think I was "good enough" at. Some things I did as a pro. Some I didn't. Suddenly I thought I had an excuse I could chant forth every time I wanted to avoid or explain something and anything I wasn't content with in my practice (where did my oh so deep insights on santosha go???) :-D . I even convinced myself of all this bull dung. I lost a lot of strength. I lost some flexibility. My backbends weren't what they used to be. All because of lazy excuses. Oh lord, what to do, what to do? Roll out my mat perhaps?

I don't know what happened or when. I guess God saw me and thought "Oh man, that's lame. Is that what I put you on that planet for? Let me give you a hand.". I have no idea. I kind of remembered the "something is better than nothing"-idea.
I decided to practice again, at least for a bit, no matter what. If I just did the sun salutations A and B and the finishing sequence (backbends and inversions), I was to be content. So, I got back. And it is so delicious! So incredibly delicious. And it's not about doing a lot or just a bit. It's not about feeling fitter or not. It's about not being stupid about my life and what I am doing to myself. I am free to skip practice, as are we all. Then I asked myself: "Am I an ashtangi?". Yes I am. God, I am! So, onto my mat I go. Suddenly I found myself back in the yoga-freak-world. And I love it so! :-D