19 August, 2012

No moratorium on mindfulness

Today was Hatha with Diane.

I think I mentioned last week that I decided, on a whim, to run to the yoga studio one day. I hadn't run for many months prior, perhaps even close to a year. And I went out and ran, fast, downhill, two miles to Urban Yoga Spa. And the consequence of that is now ongoing soreness in my left Achilles tendon. One run. That's all it took. And I have pain. In certain standing poses today, especially Eagle, the pain was exacerbated every time I pushed down into my big toe (which is exactly what you find yourself doing when trying to stabilize the balance while bringing the upper body perfectly upright).

Hence, the title of today's entry. There is, indeed, no moratorium on mindfulness. We do damage, to ourselves and others, whenever we are not mindful. It's not a guarantee that it will happen, but the odds increase substantially. And routine lack of mindfulness (which is, for example, where I found myself before I started practicing yoga) will inevitably lead to damage. It's not rocket science, right? At the same time, we may still get hurt, or make mistakes, even when we are being as careful as we can possibly be.

After a practice at home that was fraught with distractions, I really wanted to focus on focusing today in Diane's class. It was a mellow class, and I felt like I achieved the goal of focusing physically, and arriving at stillness quickly during and between poses. But my mind was racing with thoughts of the day. I wouldn't say it was spinning around like crazy or anything, but I did find that some thoughts were hard to push down, as I had a few things on my mind that carried a lot of emotional weight. Nonetheless, compared to yesterday, where I was picking up my iPhone, and fiddling with the music on my computer (home practice), today was a good step in the right direction.

There have been a few consecutive weekends where I've ramped up the intensity a notch, doing long Vinyasa classes. This weekend, I took the opposite path, listening to my body saying "rest." Not just "yoga resting," but overall resting... sleeping in... trying to bring the cup back up to full.

Monday brings Gordy's class. Hopefully, things are well-rested enough.

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