It must be working.  All this yoga and meditation I mean.

Before I flew back, I was a little bit shell-shocked.  The meditation retreat, and all its intensity, had left me feeling a little bit raw and unsettled.  Ecstatically happy and bursting with energy one minute, and withdrawn and depressed the next.  I knew it had done something to me, how could it fail not to?  But with flying and returning to the UK, to “home”, to “reality”, to “normality” whatever you want to call it, I couldn’t tell whether it had embedded itself in me…and not just the meditation…everything.

When my dad left me in the living room the day I got back, and I curled up into a ball next to my back pack and wept like a small child, I was so scared that all of it was superficial, that all that happiness I’d felt and experienced for so long was just slipping away.  But then, I realised something.  When the tears came, I wasn’t thinking – OMG what am I going to do now???  What about work, where to live, nearly 30, what a failure I must be?!???  I thought…I feel sad right now.  I’m crying now.  I’m still crying now.  OMG, I’m really crying now.  Become the sadness.  Let it go.  It’s ok to cry.  I’m not crying anymore.  No shame, no self-pity, no fighting against it.  Yeah.  Its fucking sad and scary  sometimes when you get back from a massive trip like that…but its exciting too.

There have been days when I’ve not really felt like rolling the mat out, but truth is – without too much thought or self-motivation I’ve managed to practice and meditate every day.  (Except for moon day…)

Observations:

– when I meditate there are very strong sensations on the back of my head, both hands, particularly the palms, and my shoulder blades.

– I can now sit with statuesque stillness for the full hour.

– My hips.  My hips.  Sigh.  After balancing steadily in the first stage of Bhujapadasana yesterday lunch time for the full 5 breaths – I watched John Scott’s DVD to the very end to see what I’ll be doing next…. hmmmm.  Interesting.

– Core strength is getting…well…stronger.  Evidenced by a remarkably less shaky and quieter Navasana.

– Finally engaging the psoas.  Leg being held steady at hip-level in Utthita Eka Padasana.

– Much more sensitive to the imbalance in my right side and shoulder.  Perhaps it’s because my focus on the hips is lightening up…but when I push myself off the floor into back bends, I can really really feel how much shorter and caved in my right side is.  I’m not sure what to do with that – other than just be aware, and put some additional, targeted energy into lifting…arching…stretching.

Perhaps, the most interesting observation of all, is that despite those tears on the first day I got back…I’m happy.  I’m truly happy.  The unknowns ahead of me regarding work, living arrangements, next steps, are all still there…but I’m not getting bogged down by it all, or comparing myself to others.  Everything you learn in the shala – take each moment as it comes, accept it just as it is, focus on the breath, non-competitiveness….well, after a time, it starts to creep into how you go about everything.  A bad day, is a bad day.  It passes – just like everything.

In my practice, I’m starting to surrender to that.  All those unneccessary tensions in my hips and shoulders are starting to loosen up….starting to open.   The rest of the sequence – I thought I’d never get to – coming into view.  All those possibilities…I just know that if I keep doing what I’m doing, that will start to happen in my everyday life too.

So today, I turned 30.  That pinnacle age which turns every woman crazy.  MUST GET MARRIED, MUST HAVE BABIES!

If not marriage and babies…then MUST BE IN WELL-PAID JOB IN DESIGNER CLOTHES!

I’m neither of those things…I’m 30, dressed in a hoody, woolly hat and ear-muffs, trying to acclimatize to this 40 degree drop in temperature, enjoying a box of Thornton’s for breakfast, feeling the love and wondering whether I should do moon or primary….

Namaste : )  xx

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