Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring Sadhana - 2016

It is that time of year again:  a call to the yoga studio for 6 a.m., for thirty consecutive days, March 2nd to 31st.

This sadhana, Marlene has been reading BKS, Light on Life, instead of Putanjali's sutras. Practical advice both on and off the mat.

Not one of the days in the 30-day sadhanas has been the same, nor is this sadhana a repetition of any of the previous seven. That's one of the things I appreciate about Iyengar yoga, with such a variety of poses and approaches it doesn't need to become routine. Doing something different makes you look at things a bit differently, and Marlene usually surprises us with something new - a pose or an insight - that brings a fresh awareness for the day: letting go of unnecessary tension; being persistent; using strength with intelligence; being deliberate in action. Intellectual understanding of these principles is useful, but the physical experience becomes an embodiment of truth and helps me to feel and know it more deeply.

Easter and the Vernal Equinox both marked the calendar, offering celebrations of hope and renewal. Clocks changed, and we 'lost' an hour. Temperatures fluctuated widely, bringing snow, rain, ice, mush, sleet, and mud. Witch hazel bloomed, snowdrops nodded, crocuses popped and tulips and daffodils started their greening. I even saw a few bugs swarming, food for the returning birds.

Four years and eight sadhana in, one of the biggest challenges for me is still waking up so early. It was a busy month at work, and I squeezed a lot into the social calendar, too, including hosting a few dinner parties, house guests, making it to uke jams, trivia nights, Open Mics, a trip to New York, and attending a few courses.

Although I missed a few mornings at the studio, (six due to the jazz safari in Manhattan, and one due to the ice storm), I observed the sadhana with a daily practice. In preparation for the trip to New York, I bought a new travel mat. It folds up nicely and hardly takes up any room. However, finding floor space in cramped hotel quarters was a bit challenging.

One night during the jazz safari I was watching a drummer so intently I realized his body was his most important instrument, the drum kit was his prop. I wonder if I would have had that powerful insight without daily practice and meditation?

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