“The Escape”,  was a very apt and self-explanatory title for this blog when I started it two and a half years ago.  But, now it seems inadequate, misrepresentative even of what this is all about.  I am, as before, about to embark on an adventure, with an uncertain outcome and future…but, this doesn’t feel like an escape any more.  It feels like I’m going home.  Not in location, or physicality….it’s deeper than that.  I will be reuniting with friends who have been woven into the fabric of my current state of being.  I will become a student again.  Surrender myself to the teachings of an incredible source of inspiration and guidance.  I will be giving myself this rich and abundant space to just be.  No distractions, no obligations, no responsibilities…other than to wake each day and step on that slightly disintegrating mat of mine, and be.  Be with my movement, my breath, my practice…that is humbling  and strengthening and awakening.

Somebody asked me just yesterday how I was feeling about going away again.  I think they expected excitement and joy and relief, and yes those feelings are there…but I think it’s hard to explain what work goes into these kinds of things.  For many, yoga equates to relaxation, and as some have termed it “laziness”.  I can understand that sentiment.  Just be….that’s all you’re really working towards…to just be.  How hard is that?  But the process to get there is one of the toughest, grittiest things one can experience.

Having veered, somewhat spectacularly, from my usual strict routine of early mysore practice and meditation, I’ve been feeling a little bit hazy, and removed from myself.  I’m not sure if it’s some sort of pre-retreat rebellion, or a self-protecting distraction…or perhaps, it’s just needing some time off to give myself a bit of a break before the real work begins.  Either which way, I’m having fun, and enjoying life, and in allowing myself that time, I find myself, very naturally, steering back towards the mat and meditation cushion.

I have no expectations of what lies ahead.  I am in such a different place from where I once was.  The grief that had stricken me three years ago, is now an accepted part of who I am.  Like a giant scar I’ve learnt to appreciate and love.  My career is no longer a source of debilitating stress and anxiety, but something I enjoy and am fulfilled by.  The destructive relationships that hung about my neck, have been severed, and buried.  There is space now, and a healthy foundation for things new, and untainted by the past.  It feels like, and this may be a bit of a stretch, or ambitious statement…but it feels, in this moment, like I’m free.

I am nervous about my asana practice.  With one pose left of the Primary series, I will be shortly venturing into territory unknown.  Where the primary series focuses on detoxification and cleansing, the intermediate addresses the nervous system.  I’ve learnt from my practice to date, that your body opens and settles into each posture when you’re ready.  It may be, like Bhujapadasana, that I get stuck for 18 months on a single pose, and my retreat is about the emotional and spiritual nuances of that.  It may be that with the dedicated time and energy, I’m able to break through some of the boundaries I’ve faced and get some pace into my practice….I guess it doesn’t really matter.  With everything that has changed, and everything that I’ve learnt, I have complete faith that my experience will unfold, as it’s meant to unfold.  My job is to be there everyday, and make contact with each moment…moment to moment…just as it is.

yoga1

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