Sunday, July 5, 2009

132/185 - Asana and the Right State of Mind

Saturday 9:30 am with Amy

It was one of those practices where I found myself thinking "I don't know if I'm going to make it through this one" before every single posture. And yet, I managed to march through all of them, and had a really good class. I never felt terrible during a pose. But between poses, I was trying to convince myself that I didn't have the energy. And it turned out I was wrong, again and again and again.

Amy had me work on really locking my elbows in the first backbend. It makes a huge difference, but it seems like its so easy to forget. Balancing was so-so. I was in the back row for the first time in a very long time, and I had forgotten what a difference being back there can make. And for some reason, people falling out of the pose in front of you seems to be more contagious than people falling in the mirror (which is the view I usually get).

I really love the quote that precedes the day 184 meditation: "These forms are not the means for obtaining the right state of mind. To take this posture is itself to have the right state of mind." I don't think I've ever heard a better explanation for the difference between yoga and exercise. Exercise works the body. It's pretty easy to do it while otherwise distracting yourself. I've spent lots of time jogging or riding bikes with other people and chatting. I've spent countless hours reading while on a stationary bike. And it was all good. I don't think its even possible to do yoga that way. If you are doing a pose properly, then your attention and focus has to be where it should be. That, by itself, forces a connection between mind and body. It gets rid of the loose screws.

This quote is simply another way of showing that yoga is union. But it makes the point from a perspective that I had not thought before, and it makes me understand it in a new way.

1 comment:

Bosco said...

Duffy, thanks for pointing this out. The quote had gone right over my head.