Tag Archives: mysore practice

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This post gets no decoration. Plain text (on blogs) is seldom read, and because this bit is a blurb on a yoga moment, and people’s yoga moments tend to annoy me, it’s only right you not read it. I am posting it, though.

Yesterday morning, in Utthita Hasta Padangushthasana—perhaps my worst pose, because I suck in both standing balance and hamstring flexibility—the teach came over to lift my leg and support me, as he almost always does. When I lifted my leg, my standing leg wobbled. Ordinarily I’d stop and rebalance, but because I knew he was there, I kept lifting. I knew I’d recover balance because he was there.

“Oh. This is what it’s like,” I thought, “to be supported. To keep going even though you’re wobbly. To have the confidence you won’t fall flat, or have to be perfect before going up.”

One might argue, as I would because I’m like that, that I shouldn’t go up if I don’t have balance yet, or how will I find it on my own if he always helps? To that I reply: the body remembers and learns, and does so more gracefully without struggle.

It was a big moment, because it’s such an issue and theme in my life. The one I’ve been promising myself to write about, starting with that day back in Kazakhstan in 2004. I feel lucky to have had it yesterday, that little epiphany. The daily discipline of going there early and doing it every damn day, and coming to trust the teacher day after day, is part of what made it happen.

Last week a friend was talking about climbing a fence and stealing fruit off of trees when he was small. “We didn’t do it because we needed it. We just wanted to do it. It was fun. Nothing ever happened to us even if we got caught. You know, the poor kids didn’t do it though. They never did.”

His point was that they didn’t do it because they needed it, they did it because it was fun. But I heard something else, and replied, “Yeah, because if the poor kids were caught, that’d be the end.”

“Yeah, it’s true. We were just given over to our parents, but for them it’s another story.”

All this is what I mean by the psychology of having and not having, and the risk taking you can do when you feel the world is a safe (enough) place.