Practice Journal 1: Letting Go

ImageSix days into the new year, and today I started my yoga practice again.  Lit candles and incense, plugged my mantra into Youtube, studied up on a few poses and rolled out my mat, facing east, into the sun glinting on the ice encasing the huge pine in my front yard.

I did barely half a sequence for Apana Vayu, poses that facilitate letting go of what no longer serves you. I did agni sara, (muscular contractions to aid digestion among other things), energetic breathing called kapalabhati, stretched my neck and arms and did just five poses from the Apana Vayu sequence. I engaged the bhandas (subtle muscle contractions meant to keep energy, or prana, within), held an affirmation in mind for each pose, and maintained awareness of each chakra the pose is beneficial for.

I’m easing myself back into this.

Moving back into practice was easy and automatically brought happiness.  A million tiny sore spots all over reminded me that I haven’t practiced for a good month and a half. Always, as I stretch my spine up and fold my legs into Half-Lotus, gravity pulls my shoulders and shoulder blades down, and my hips get heavy, and my whole body says, “Ahhhh…”

I expected to do work on on releasing anger, frustration and desire to control how things unfold, but the first thing I had to let go of was expectation: both Indi and Peewee decided this was the perfect moment to give and receive affection, and converged on me and the mat. So, while in Half-Lotus, I spent a while with a hand on each pet, giving my awareness to them and listening to my mantra. I don’t consider this a distraction. Indi settled down, but Peewee didn’t, stretching his little arms up to my shoulders (this cat is super cute and Pure Love). The next thing I let go of was the need to pet PeeWee, and I shifted into the next pose. He wandered away, but Indi stayed next to the mat, asleep. She often does when I’m practicing.

Then I found myself composing a report in my head of what was happening, to write down in a journal later, so I had to let that go as well. I transferred my attention to my Third Eye chakra to accomplish that.

Savasana (resting) turned into an Indi-petting session, but I don’t mind. I’ve been reading books by Cesar Millan, and he has a lot to say about energy, so I experimented with sharing calm energy with Indi, which I think I do anyway most of the time, but it was interesting to focus my awareness on it. I love how she relaxes totally into the moment, her eyes soft and happy.

Feeling good. It’s the third day after my IVIG treatment, so I expected to have a low energy day, but I have a normal amount.  Looking forward to getting on with my practice and digging the channels of discipline. If it’s not canceled because of ridiculously low temps, we have obedience class tomorrow morning, so I probably won’t practice, but I’ll definitely be on the mat on Wednesday morning after a walk.

Om, shanti.

today’s practice: agni sara, half-lotus, kapalabhati, neck and arm stretches, cat/cow, down-dog, mountain, standing forward fold


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