100 Days of Yoga, Day 30


September 20, 2012 by blogmasterjdeam

For the most part I start writing the blog for the day, on the day before I send it to press. I spend a lot of time thinking, writing, re-writing, editing, etc. Writing this blog the evening (and sometimes starting in the afternoon) of the day before I send it to blogmasterjdeam, has helped my practice tremendously. I can’t remember the last time I watched more than five minutes of television. Television is one of those ways I go back to sleep, sometimes with a jar of caramel in my hand (mmm … caramel.) So even though I don’t count the blog writing time as part of my practice, it actually is, because while writing, and all the things that go with writing, I am forced to get out of my own head, or I can’t write.

Sometimes, however, the well just runs dry and I can’t think of anything to say, or at least anything worth asking you to read. Today would be that day. I wrote a long winded, meandering blog, that just didn’t work. Fortunately for me, I had a yoga class with a truly fabulous yoga teacher, Joan Shumway, at 4:30. I drove through hail, heavy rain and winds to get to class because this particular class is that important to me.

One of the things Joan does near the beginning of class is to ask us to (mentally) state our intention for the class. Today I said to myself: inspiration? NO, INSPIRATION! (Because what a funny thing to ask for.) Usually I ask for more heart opening, or to be gentle with my body, things like that. But today I knew I needed some inspiration in order to write.

Near the end of Savasana, Joan read aloud the following poem:

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

~ Mary Oliver ~

And that was all it took.

Tears of gratitude came to my eyes. It was exactly what I needed to hear — and I realized, ALL I HAD TO DO WAS ASK.

This, I get reminded of so very often, yet I forget so very easily. All I have to do is quiet my mind, and simply ask for what I want.

Jelaluddin Rumi, the 13th century mystic poet tells us:

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

And finally, from Albert Einstein: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well.”

My journey is still new, although I’ve been walking this path for more than a decade, I am no where near home. I need many reminders along the way: slow down, love more, be kind, be grateful, be present, listen more, talk less, and, ask for what I really want.

For pranayama today I will do a simple breathing technique where I place myself comfortably prone, with neck support, on the mat, my hands gently on my abdomen and simply count the rise and fall of my breath. This practice is good for when you feel disconnected from your body. It is centering and calming.

Asana: At yoga class we did Tree pose. I love the balance poses, so I will do a series of them, after warming up. My all time favorite balance pose is half moon, but it takes me quite a long time to become limber enough to get into the correct form of it. The proper form requires the toes of the standing leg to be straight out. I have a tendency to point them inward. I have spent many years opening my hips enough to do this pose properly, yet I still need a block to make it work. Ah well, we all need something.

Here is an illustration of some balance poses:

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. With great kindness, Chris


2 thoughts on “100 Days of Yoga, Day 30

  1. Love this posting, Chris. I spent my youth amongst Doug Firs in the Pacific Northwest and forests have a most special place in my heart!

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