Primary Friday: Astronomy Hour

Another week of practice has come and gone.  Primary this morning was delightful.  The days and weeks have fallen into a pleasant rhythm and I have arrived at a place of familiarity with what has become my daily practice.

Until recently, Intermediate had felt more like someone else's practice.  My teachers advised me to split and move forward a few months ago.  At the time, I balked and dragged my heels, loathe to leave Primary behind, but eventually followed through on their advice.  Since the split, I have felt like a tourist on the mat, clumsily groping my way through the sequence, wondering where and how I might find that essential sense of ease.

I think I've found it.  Though the arc of my current practice -- Intermediate through Pincha -- is awkward, as though it builds and builds only to drop abruptly before the fire really starts to burn, it has grown and billowed into an experience all my own.  I know when to stride out, when to hold back, where to push and where to soften.  Some days, I might stop and work on Eka Pada for five minutes; other days, only five breaths.  Same goes for Kapo:  sometimes, it's the main event.  Sometimes, it's just another pose.  Inhale.  Exhale.  Five times.  Move on.

As I mature, the sense of urgency that seemed to feed the fire behind my practice is fading fast.  The primary emotion is gratitude.  I am grateful for this practice.  I am grateful for this body.  I am in no hurry to consume the series for the sake of its completion.  

Rather, I am fascinated by the processes as they unfold.  I observe awakenings and openings as one gazes at the stars:  Ooh, isn't that lovely.  Look at that one sparkle!  Sensations are born, they burn brightly, and then they fade away, leaving only a soft impression on the mind and a sense of depth as yet unknown.  It is an inward journey through the cosmos of human experience.  A great mystery, meant to be explored.  How lucky we are to have such a powerful lens through which to map this infinite space.

"There is only one drishti.  That is God."  -- Sri K. Pattabhi Jois


  1. I totally relate to this post and the journey you have been on to get here. It's amazing how much "stuff" doing Ashtanga can bring up, your post reminds me to stick with the practice through all of the "stuff" so I can once again return to the place of gratitude.

    1. Glad you could relate, John. It really is amazing, isn't it? And the magic is that all we have to do is practice. The rest takes care of itself.