today ended my 5th week of YouWillLiveAndBreatheYoga commitment (though my week in nola was really half-hearted), with 15 hour-and-a-half classroom sessions and 2 solo practices under my belt.
i have another 2.5 weeks left and hope that will mean at least 11-12 more days in the classroom.
this was the first year that i not only attended the YogaYoga ashtanga star (beginner) and full primary series classes, but i also put my brave foot forward and attended mysore classes. it is like having training wheels on for solo practice….i am on auto-pilot and matt just occasionally prompts me or suggests alternatives. the best thing about this class is seeing so many advanced students – i am truly the baby in these classes and its inspirational beyond words.
this year has been a much more subtle journey than last year.
last year was a grinding, sweating, exhausting journey toward building my strength back and getting much-needed correction on some asanas – after years of home practice, it was fantastic to get feedback again.
when i started this year, i was really afraid that i had lost all the ground gained, since i had *maybe* made it to the mat 6 times after i left austin. i was pleasantly surprised to realize that my core strength was not too far gone, and i actually remembered most of the form points i had learned.
so this year has been a surge toward renewed strength and flexibility, but more importantly, learning things about my body and joints – and how to use my practice to solve many of the problems that nature has handed me.
my shoulders and hips often cause me problems, and each time i allowed my shoulders or hip joints to slide out of socket (cursed double joints!!), matt would call me on it and talk to me about what to focus on to keep them in place. today was the first practice in my life where all my joints stayed put – and it was super-exciting 🙂 maybe my dream of using yoga to grow old gracefully will be more accurate than i thought.
today he introduced us to some of the secondary series asanas, and it makes me giddy to have been shown that small sneak peak into what’s next. some of them will be within my reach soon….others will take years – but reaching, trying, feeling what new parts of me will get stronger is so exhilarating.
more than anything, a 1.5 hour practice 4 times a week makes me feel like every breath i take is a celebration of my very being….like i have found a way to distill myself down to the very essence of accomplishment, freedom, patience, joy and appreciation. there is so much left to learn, but the journey is so delicious that i never feel discouraged…only grateful that i can have these moments and that i can give myself this gift.
hopefully i can carry this high home with me and carve out the time to make this a priority that simply cannot be pushed aside as life gets busier.
my goal at 25 was to have a regular practice by 40. sometimes goals that long-range just don’t seem real. today, it does. here’s to holding onto that feeling! 🙂