SadhanaPosted: June 2, 2012
In a fit of insomnia this week, I flailed around for something to take my mind off the sleeplessness, and found my phone. I read twitter, which almost always leads me to some useful or interesting article. I read this one: A Buddhist Poem by an Anonymous Samurai Warrior.
Then, during my yoga practice the next morning, I remembered that I had a startling realization during the night. As usual, this epiphany (of sorts) hovered at the edge of my consciousness, and the more I tried to recall it, the faster it slipped away. I remember bits of it though. It was like a recipe to fall asleep. As simple as concentrating on inhalations and exhalations, but it was a mantra. Something that I had once known for years, but recently forgot as life pulled me in all its many confusing directions.
My yoga was stifled. I hurt my neck last week working on my scorpion pose (vrischikasana, for all you yoga purists), so I was hesitant to jump back into the poses with my usual gusto. I did a long yin style practice, focusing on stretching my mid and lower back instead of the forearm and shoulder strength I’ve been working on for the last few weeks.
Scorpion is a very stressful pose, and unless your body is ready for every bend and lift, injuries happen very easily. So even though it once only took me a month to master the pose, I am taking it slow this time. My body has been through a lot in the three years since I used to regularly throw myself into scorpion, and I need to respect that. I do not typically watch the clock to time my solo yoga, but it almost always lasts about 75 minutes. This includes a long warm up, cool down and hydration break. This morning, even with all those elements in place, I was satisfied after 45 minutes. As I was packing up my gear, I wondered to myself if I should go ride the elliptical to utilize the time I had left at the gym. But walking out the door, a painful blister on my heel begged for rest, and I knew my body had done its best for the day. I still had a full thermos of genmaicha, and thought how lovely it would be to get to work an hour early and sit and drink tea. An hour of time just for me!
It is this act of my mind creating and producing words and thoughts that satisfies and fulfills me almost as much as the act of my body contorting into complicated yoga poses, running another mile, and lifting another set does. It is a welcome change, and I intend to cultivate it.
When I was 16, if you asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I would have said I wanted to be a writer. Without hesitation. When I turned 18, just as my consciousness was opening up to the wider world, there were a series of events that lasted until I was 22 (reverberated until I was 26) which made me bury this aspiration beneath the circumstances some call “baggage.” I never really lost touch with my love for words. I became a librarian during that time, after all. But I haven’t given serious consideration to the Next Great American Novel that I once truly believed lurked within me.
But, I don’t know. All I have so far is this weird blog no one really reads. I guess I might need to start drinking coffee again.