June 30, 2010 Change and the Mind
I came more ready to change this time. There must be a surrender here, in so many ways. To the culture, the climate, the diet, the practice. “New asana, new pain” says Sharath.
There is certainly some newness going on. He walks my hands furthur up the legs in backbending this week than ever before. What is different is that I am not surprised. I used to be like “oh shit! He’s not! “ as he took each hand, gently, telling me to relax, and deepening the pose. This year, I know I am open before the pose comes. I know it is time and that everything else has lead up to this. I truly feel an all-encompassing moment of change at the culmination of every practice and because my time here is so short this year, and I don’t foresee when it will come again, I waste nothing of it.
I bring the mind back to the breath and release expectation. My spine is already shifting old patterns, before I even go back. I put all remaining efforts into keeping the barrel of the chest lifted, or else I am lost. I relax the arms completely and let him put them wherever; I take whatever part of the leg is there, hold the chest open, and bring the elbows as close to parallel as I can get them. The pain is in the shoulders, but I don’t push it so much. Shoulders are a different kind of pain, a sort of searing through the mind. Inside the wheel of that pose, I am in a vortex of sensation, of opposing forces, of faith and fear, of body and mind. I stand freely and find my breath, hanging on without gripping. I try to count 5 breaths.
Every day back bending is another story, another moment tells its own tale. I can feel consciousness slowly, with practice, expanding to take in more of that moment. I want to know every piece of it. Where are the eyes looking, what am I seeing? Is it painful or wonderful? Is there a sound inside? Can I feel the central channel? Can I move it with breath?
Yesterday, the story was this: the channel felt about 8 inches wide, going through my torso, a circle of blue light. When I drew my elbows in and settled into my legs, my center lit up and beamed. With breath, it got brighter. The mind comes in, fear is there, ahamkar pulls me up and out of there. Although some part of me wants to stay forever.
Is this what openness feels like? Why do I have to be in a deep backbend to feel it? I am trying to wrap my head around the truth I feel- some decision about change was already made months ago and this container, being in this place, in this stage of life, is allowing more openness. The name of the key has always been willingness. Coming home, the practice is to hold dear those moments where I touched something. No desire to repeat these moments, to escape what is, only to cherish the blessing of knowing it at all.
All the yoga until now has made me able to sense this, to know this place, to light it up consciously. I am one who wants to find the Lord through experiences of the body. It has always been so. As awareness deepens, I aspire to find it without…even…moving.
Meantime, so much energy is moving, I can’t sleep at night.