I have been doing a lot of physical thinking lately, about anatomy and asanas and my body in poses. My brain was ready for a partial break, so when I went to my mat this morning, I opted to use a DVD to guide my practice. I would still pay attention to my reactions in the movement, but it would be restful and relieving not to fashion the sequence myself.
That was the intent.
As I started my practice, however, I started slipping into a familiar tread. I’ve practiced with this DVD a lot over the several years that I’ve owned it, and I know that I can do all of the “harder” variations of the poses, and in fact, most of them are in my practice regularly. First, I found myself automatically moving toward those “advanced” expressions. Then I got frustrated when those postures, even though I could do them physically, felt wrong today. This practice was neither restful nor relieving.
My actions didn’t match my intent.
I suppose I could have continued with the discord, but that seemed like an exercise in futility at best and potentially injurious at worst. Since summer is the only time I get in as much yoga as I’d really like, postponing an asana practice due to injury did not sound like my idea of a good time.
So I had to rectify. I had to determine where my attachment was greater: to these specific activities or to my restorative intent. And in choosing to honor my intent, I realized that I had to change my actions.
In yoga, this usually means getting on my knees and knowing how far is too far. In life, well, it’s not so different.