Not so long ago, I was having what was known as a bad day. I was under pressure from a lot of directions, and feeling overwhelmed, and irritable, and all those things that happen to constitute a bad day. The next morning, I woke up early, as I do, and headed off to my yoga class. I had some extra time, so I took it. What happened was magical. Each movement was languid, and I absolutely luxuriated in it. My breath was long and slow. I held every pose for double the length. It almost felt like I was moving in warm soup, with slow pressure and easy movement. At a certain juncture, I realized that in a sense, my mat had become my magic carpet and had lifted me a bit above from my despair. And further, I realized that all of those situations that were distressing me were already ghosts. It had already happened! It wasn’t still happening. And then I was able to live in the moment, there in my practice.
At the end of all of that, I realized that my yoga practice has never been so good as when I am a mess. The more miserable I am, the more I can show up to my mat, push everything aside and really be present in my practice. Happiness rarely gravitates me conscientiously to the mat, not without a lot of effort at least. My mind wanders, and I have to wrestle it back in. I’m thinking about all the fun to be had, and my balance suffers.
This is where yoga truly becomes a discipline. I can always make it to the mat miserable. Making it when I’m happy takes commitment. I’m happy to say that over the last three years, I’ve kept my commitment, but it’s taken me years of doing yoga to finally build that consistency. Because of the steady practice, this time, I had the skills and the focus to have an almost out of body experience, which gave me true wisdom in my situation.
When do you practice yoga? Can you find your pattern? Let me know how it goes for you in the comments.