on the mat is a state of mind
I’ve begun reading Meditations From the Mat by Rolf Gates. Last night I read two passages, one on abhysa, or practice, and one on vairagya, or renunciation.
I’ve spent most of my time working on my practice; that part has come naturally. I enjoy the workout (and the buzz), and it makes sense that I would go to my classes every day. As I read, I began thinking of how important it is to have something (an abhysa, if you will) that sustains you. For my parents, it is religion, for some it is work or exercise. For me, it is yoga. I count myself lucky that I’ve had this time to build my practice, to nurture it, to cultivate it into something that truly supports me. When times are good, I go to class for the joy of it, when I’m away, I create a practice to maintain some semblance of routine, when things are hard, I go to a class for the sense of community and support that it provides.
As I finished the passage on abhysa, I began to wonder about the vairagya; about what I would renounce. As I continued reading, I realized that I had already gone through most of it, the renunciation of my old life. Mr. Gates was right – it was much more like a birth than a death. I do not miss my old self for one second. Not the laziness, not the escapist behavior, not the absence of a purpose. I have welcomed my new me into this life, with purpose and with strength, and I think that it’s the most amazing thing that I’ve done for myself, possibly ever.
I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels, to come into this new year, turning thirty, starting a business, starting over, with such a sense of accomplishment, on all fronts.