Yep. I just made that up. But, curious is a good descriptor for how I’ve been approaching my asana practice lately. I’ve known, intellectually, that every practice was a unique experience, because the body and the mind are different from moment to moment and day to day. But, even though I’ve “known” it, I’ve often not remembered it in practice. Consequently, there was frustration when a pose that had been getting deeper stopped, or even retreated. And I felt confused (and annoyed) when I suddenly found myself fearful of a pose that I had done with confidence the prior week.
Somehow (maybe all that Bhagavad Gita), I’ve recently taken much more of an attitude of curiosity and acceptance of where I am on a given day. It’s actually quite interesting to see how things shake out, and it’s always a surprise. Last night, for example, I found urdvha danurasana quite a challenge. It’s been that way (a little unreachable) for the past few weeks. I don’t know why, as it was accessible before. Now, when I prep for the pose, I can feel some anxiety build in my body, even when I don’t think it’s there in my head. In this practice, I tried to just watch; I noticed that it seems to be related to something with my arms (specifically the wrists). As soon as I put them into position, that feeling of discomfort begins there and radiates out. If I go in very quickly, I can get into the pose before I fully feel it, but if I do the prep the way I should, then by the time it’s the moment to really push up, my body isn’t feeling happy. So, last night, I watched it. I went up once briefly and then just maintained the wheel arms with the setu bandhasana hips.
Also in this practice, we did L shaped handstand. It’s been a while since this pose made me nervous. In general, I like it. Last night, it did make me nervous. Curious. What was different? It could have been that my mat was long against the wall I was practicing against. It could have been my location in the room. I don’t know, and I tried not to think about it much during the class, but it was interesting to watch that feeling unfold. On the other hand (or foot), my joints were a rather loose today, and I saw that ardha padmasana was more available than usual.
All in all, I’m trying to approach my asana with more curiosity and less evaluation. I think this applies to life as well as asana. As Albert Einstein once said: