This has been an extraordinarily busy summer, which is ironic because my intention had been to carry on with what I have come to know as my "recovery" through the summer season and kick it into high gear in the fall. Alas, when the winds change as they are wont to do, the seafarer has two options: row against the current or adjust the sails. I believe I've chosen wisely.
I have been working more and more, particularly on very short notice, which is especially difficult with my highly irregular schedule, but rather than feeling overworked or discombobulated, I relax in every moment. In fact, this has become my mantra. I repeat it to myself throughout the day. I relax in every moment. I relax in every moment...
With the extra work and extreme irregularity, modifications to the practice routine have been imperative. The traditional Sunday through Friday practice week has not been viable, but I've been making do by floating my rest day around as necessary, sometimes even taking an extra day off. Interestingly, my practice has not suffered. In fact, I am appreciating my practice more and, as a result, the time that I do have to practice has been truly beautiful and inspired. Also interesting is the fact that, since that week with Sweeney, my hips have been so open. It could be the heat at peak of summer, but I suspect it's something more.
I haven't mentioned this, but in the workshops with Sweeney, I had asked him (as I do every senior teacher I have the opportunity of working with) what to do about my tight shoulders and hips. He looked me in the eye and told me not to do Ashtanga every day.
I was taken aback, to be sure, but it can't be argued that the man does not know what he's doing. So I listened. I began by practicing his Chandra Krama or Simha Krama once or twice a week, but this afternoon, I rolled out my mat and started with a blank slate. No plans. Just the quiet and the space for intuition. I began in Virasana. Closed eyes. Quiet breaths. I released the mind and listened to the body, and was carried through a brilliant sequence almost as though led by some force outside myself. The lightness and the strength were quite astounding. The power of the breath brought every pose to life. Postures I've not practiced in perhaps a year were not only readily available, but deeper and more comfortable than ever. I taught a class this evening heavily inspired by today's practice. It was very well received.
With autumn fast approaching, my life is unlikely to slow down. School starts the final week of August... oh wait. Did I not share the news? It's official. I'm going back to school!
I was readily accepted not only to the school I had hoped, but also to the honors program within, so I've got access to some super-cool, seminar-type classes that nerd-types like myself so thoroughly enjoy. (Enough hyphens there for you?) I've registered for a full-time schedule and I could not be any happier about it. (I heart hyphenation.)
To my students: I will continue teaching, but to what extent remains unknown.
To my readers: I will continue writing. Still hoping to pick up the AOTW on a regular basis, but thus far, the way of things has disagreed.