Tuesday, 30 August 2011
I have been a runner. Not athletically, but as a way of dealing with life. In my actions, and in my mind. I'm regularly thinking of what's next. Instead of reveling in the beauty of my life right now, I think of what I will do next, where I will move next, who I might meet next. I enjoy my life, enjoy where I am, but I am usually moving on to the next thing, at the very least, in my mind. Can any of you out there relate?
I left my cozy family home at 18, and have been on the move since then! University years, teaching in England, traveling the world while working on a Cruise Ship for a few years, I never stayed in one place for more than a year or two. I've now lived in Ottawa for 6 1/2 years, which amazes me. But even while my body has stayed in this beautiful city, my mind is regularly planning when and where I'll go to next. I'm a little bit of a gypsy, in my mind at least :) In my jobs and careers, while I take pride and work diligently at whatever I'm doing, my mind is thinking, planning, wondering what will be next, when I'll leave. And, to be honest with you, in relationships, I do find myself thinking, how long will this last? Who will move on first? Is it possible, or even a good thing, to find "forever"? And, (god, I need to do some more therapy, or deep meditation :)), what if I need to run?!
I am aware of these things in me. Loving all parts of me, I learn to embrace these parts with compassion. But it came up in a most interesting way, in my yoga practice the other day.
I was doing my practice in my living room, on my mat, facing my sunny windows with a gorgeous view of the Gatineau Hills. I became aware, as I moved through my asana (physical postures), that I often only hold a pose for 3 or 4 breaths. I thought, let's see if I can hold for 10 breaths. Let's see what happens, energetically and physically. It's fun to play with your practice.
So I moved into Warrior 1, a lovely strong backbend. I focused on my balanced, abdominal breathing, and held. 3 breaths, 4 breaths, 5 breaths. And then something began to stir inside of me. Frustration. Irritation. I began to sweat crazily, and began to feel nauseous. I brought my attention back to my breath, and tried to talk myself through it. "Angie, you're ok. You can hold this. Just stay". It wasn't that I was in pain, that my body couldn't hold the pose. My body felt great. It was completely psychological and emotional! I wanted to move. I wanted to do what was next. I did not want to stay. My breath became rough and ragged, I desperately wanted to get out of the pose, I felt hot and bothered. It was such a crazy visceral reaction, to staying in one place! I breathed through it, held the pose for 10 breaths, and sat quietly, to regain my breath and my centre. What a funny experience! My mind became flooded with all these things I run from, the way I move through life, so quickly, always thinking about what is next.
What a lesson! Again, my asana practice revealed some funny patterns in my life, and in my mind! Man, this yoga is the coolest thing ever. I love all I learn from it. And as I become aware of the way I live, often unconsciously, I can allow those things to come up, and deal with them. With love and compassion.
I still want to run. Still want to move on to whatever is next. But today I am a little more aware than I was before, and that is one of the wonderful things about this yogic path. Because with awareness can come change.