Musings on Anticipation

Each day, as I prepare for my practice, I get a little rush. My heart flutters, and my mind races at the possibilities, known and unknown, that lay before me on the mat. I have accepted this pre-practice exhilaration as part of the ritual, and yet, it seems to be, somehow, un-yogic. Shouldn't this thing that I do every day be mundane by now? Shouldn't my practice be as familiar as my very breath?

The breath. The constant. The guide. Where will the breath lead me today? Perhaps it's this idea of surrender that excites me. Maybe this knowledge that, even though I'm the only person in the room, it's not entirely my decision what I can and cannot do or where I should and should not go, that infuses each practice with a sense of newness, and fills me with anticipation. But I should not be filled with anticipation. I should approach my practice with a non-dualistic mind, experiencing sensations without attachment, letting go of pain and pleasure. But it feels so good. I can let go of the pain. I didn't want it in the first place, but the pleasure? I'd rather keep it, thank you very much.

Is this the perfect balance that we seek, this point between effort and ease, this singular nothingness, absent of pleasure and pain? Treating all things equally, do we aim to let go of sensation altogether? It is a bittersweet thought, and makes me want to take a long savasana, in a resigned sort of way.

On a practice note, yesterday's practice was pretty damn good. I kept things very focused and tight, not lingering too long in down dog between sequences, as I sometimes tend to do. I did a strong standing balancing sequence with warrior three, half moon, urdhva prasarita ekapadasana, then utthita hasta padangusthasana A, B, C, and D.

Regarding my progress jumping into bakasana: SO CLOSE! Tried twice yesterday. The first time was about the same as usual, the second time, I landed right, but I just wasn't present enough. I wasn't ready to succeed, so I lost balance and my left big toe came down again. It's coming, very soon. I'll be ready next time. However, I was inspired yesterday watching a video of this woman jumping back from bakasana to give it another try myself. Success! I've never been able to shoot my legs back into chaturanga from crow. I realize now I've been over thinking it. I had been trying to lift my hips really high, thinking I needed the height in order to have time to straighten my legs, but as I was watching that video I noticed she was just shooting her legs straight back, no flourish, not much extra lift. I tried it her way, and it worked perfectly. I did it twice in my practice, then I did it again after practice to show my boyfriend the cool new thing I learned.

Regarding handstand: I hovered! The first time I kicked up near the wall, I waited for my heels to crash... and nothing happened. I felt weightless, and suspended there for about 10 seconds, then let my heels come to the wall, and stayed there for about 8 long breaths. Kicked up to the wall again for another ten breaths to build strength.

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