Sometimes life is like a Sun Salutation series -- you know what's coming next. You move through it all with little thought. It's automatic, muscle memory. There's a comfort in that, I suppose. A part of my own yoga practice is the same day in and day out (I also usually practice another style of yoga each day and that practice varies). The challenge for me can be in staying present, even when I know what's coming next. It's a wee bit too easy to go on autopilot and end up in Savasana without remembering how I got there.
That's the irony -- I have a regular practice that is the same every day so that I can turn off my brain and be in my body and yet the sameness of it sometimes leads me to check out and go unconscious. I just let my body take over and my mind wanders. My breath and body are no longer working to support each other. It's just movement. That's when I slip out of yoga and go into something else entirely.
Yoga is relationship and relationship needs consciousness. It needs presence or it will wither away (trust me on this one -- I have first-hand experience in watching a relationship die due to absence). Even though my practice is the same each day, my body isn't the same. My emotions aren't the same each day. My mind is in a different place each day. Awareness of these differences and presence in my practice is what keeps it fresh, alive, vibrant.
It's like this blog. I've been writing it for years. There have been times I've felt stale, churning out posts on autopilot. That's when I know I've lost awareness. I know what's next so I check out. Then I hit a I-don't-have-anything-to-say place and things get interesting. I sat down tonight not having a clear idea of what I wanted to write. Then I showed up and the words started coming. I don't know what the next post will be. I'm present here, for this post. And that's why I keep blogging -- because it's still alive and vibrant for me. If I sat down with a blogging calendar and planned out everything for the month or year, I would have probably given up blogging long ago.
I like the aliveness of relationship. In order to engage, you stay present, whether you know what's next or not. Some days you don't like what shows up, some days you do, and other days you just want to check out and hide under the covers. You just keep bringing yourself back. I do this in my meditation practice, my yoga practice, my life. I have no idea what's next and I do my best not to worry about it. Aliveness comes from not knowing.
Just remember, you don't want to end up in Savasana with no clue as to how you got there.
P.S. One thing I do know that's coming up is SYTAR (Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research). It's happening June 4-7 in Newport Beach, CA. Click here for all the details.