I've been thinking a lot about love lately. What do I love? What do I think I love (what have I convinced myself that I love)? How far will I go for love? What do I do when love bumps up against self preservation? How does the experience of love differ when I'm coming from my head vs. my heart? Yep, there's been a lot of navel contemplating lately! The best part is that I don't have any answers. Or maybe I do...love is always the answer.
My beloved yoga practice has changed throughout the years and yet my love for it has not. As this wonderful article by Sally Kempton says, love is sadhana. I couldn't agree more with this -- love IS a practice. For the many days that find me resisting my time on the mat, I practice love. These days, practicing love has been both challenging yet at the same time the easiest thing in the world. That's the funny thing about love -- just when you think you're broken-hearted, you're actually broken open. It's quite the experience.
I just had an experience in which I dove in with my heart rather than my head and the result was...unsuccessful, I guess you could say. Funny how I don't agree with that judgment. In fact, I find it a victory for me -- I'm so very proud of myself for choosing my heart over my head. That's loving for the sake of loving rather than for the desire to get a certain result. And isn't this why our love of yoga, our practice, keeps us coming back to the mat? We continue to show up for the sake of love, not for some goal. Yes, it's nice to be able to fly in Crow or put your hands on the floor in Standing Forward Bend, but is it why we practice?
Why do you practice?
Just the other day, I lay over a bolster, my chest stretched open and asked myself the question: How can I love more? I'm thinking that the answer is simple -- practice.