on the mat is a state of mind
There is something to be said for leaving the past, in the past. We bring with us the lessons and the wisdom, of course, but everything else? Mmmmm, no thanks. It’s nice to be able to wake up every day to a fresh start, a clean slate. It’s nice to just let things go, to let the experience of our days wash over us, and carry our former selves away, letting us live in a permanent state of rebirth.
This afternoon, I did my sec0nd seasonal Mala – 108 sun salutations to celebrate the vernal equinox. There was a lot going on for me today – it is Spring – of course – everything coming to life after the winter; it is also a chance for me to see how far I’ve come. I did my first mala one month after I started back to yoga. I did my second 5 months after, and there were some significant differences.
There’s the fact that I can do a push up, that I can hop from a forward fold into plank, that I don’t have to modify any of the poses. Obviously, those things have come with time and practice. But there is a different kind of focus, a different purpose in what I did today versus what I did four months ago. Today I didn’t count how many salutations we had done, how many we had left. I didn’t wonder what I looked like, or what anyone else was doing. Today there was my breath, and the feeling of each pose moving through my body, and the sense that I was leaving something behind, and facing something entirely new.
With each repetition, there was the chance to tweak it, to make the next one better, to change how it felt, and how I felt about what I was doing. Between each set (of 27 x 4 sets = 108) we took a little break to stretch, shake it out, start anew. There was always a second chance. In the Fall, I would slack a little in the middle of a set, knowing how many I had left to get it right, and then bust it out for the last few. Without counting down, I had to make each one beautiful, make it feel amazing. I was never catching up, just moving forward.
This is how I’d like to live my life: always striving to live each moment in its own right, not as something to be suffered through until the next big thing. I’d also like to be able to let go of the ones that I don’t get right. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be progress.
I’ve struggled with the transitions that I’ve experienced over the course of the last year, and having come through all of them, relatively unscathed and significantly better for having done so, I can safely say that I’ve left the fear behind. Every moment brings with it an opportunity for us to experience something new, and in shying away from whatever we’re in, we miss those opportunities, choosing instead to skip to the parts we know. If I only ever listened to the first cd I ever bought, because I didn’t want to take the risk of listening to something that I didn’t like, I’d still have Color Me Badd on the headphones. Needless to say, my musical tastes have grown considerably because I’ve taken risks, chances on bands I didn’t know, quite a few of which totally sucked.
I use music as an example only because it’s been such a part of my life and of my yoga practice, as something that I cherish and love to share with others. Hit songs come and go and one hit wonders abound, but we enjoy them in the moment and let them go as time passes. Granted, there are those albums that stay with us a little longer, some for months, some for years, some forever. Those are the ‘ones’ that we carry with us, like the lessons that allow us to keep growing, those moments that change everything and give us that second chance to be someone new. Everything else is just… Chumbawumba. Hopefully we can let it go.
And just in case you want to know what I listen to now: Spring iMix