Sometimes we’ve just got to slow down.
Erin read a beautiful passage from Meditations from the Mat today about not rushing in our yoga practise. Running to the finish line will not help us deal with our pain any faster. Thankfully, nor will it bring us any less grace. We can go from workshop to workshop, trying to find the key to unlock the remaining mysteries of our practise, but we might be moving too quickly.
In this way, it’s like driving somewhere you’ve never been before using only written directions. You know you need to turn right on Spruce Avenue. If you slow down as you approach side streets, you are more likely not to miss your turn. But if you keep cruising at 80km/hour, you are sure to drive right by.
What might you be missing by driving or walking too fast?
Lesson from Day 26
Allow yourself to be nurtured and stretched each day in your practise. Your instructors, including you, the self-teacher, are there to make sure you are safe and protected. Slow down and let yourself be guided through the tough bits.
It is different for each person. I struggle with postures on my stomach. They make me feel claustrophobic. Some balancing postures on my left leg bring out old injuries and, you got it, not just physical ones. The tensions we hold in our body are the result of emotional scars and past experiences as well, which is why when we struggle with certain postures, we may have an emotional, not just physical, reaction.
Lean on others and lean on your mat like it was a warm embrace. Let yourself open up just a little more each day and breathe through any pain that comes up. Work hard to avoid that knee-jerk reaction of getting out of postures that are uncomfortable (while keeping in mind the difference between Discomfort and Pain).
And by the way, there is no such thing as a finish line in yoga. You are already there, wherever you are each day.
© Meghan J. Ward, 2011.