Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Here Comes the Sun

Sun Salutations are cycles of specific yoga poses, exercised swiftly, gracefully, with flow.  You do them in the early morning to greet and prepare for the awakening day.  Sun Salutations are said to bring good health and good fortune; some say that a daily cycle of five salutations provides all the physical and mental discipline a yogi needs.  At the summer solstice, many enthusiasts perform cycles of 108 Salutations to welcome the new season.

Sun Salutations are my downfall.  I've never enjoyed doing them.  They're hard work.  They move more quickly than I think yoga poses should.  They demand grace and attention-if your mind wanders, you lose track of the poses.  They're the yoga equivalent of musical scales, repetitious to the point of boredom, but excellent for flexibility and discipline.  Because of these things and because I believe in facing your fears and dislikes, I do Sun Salutation cycles every morning.  Just not 108 of them.

When I began weaving, I was told that weaving twenty yards of plain cotton cloth was the best practice for learning to weave.  Weaving this cloth would even your beat, straighten your edges and provide you with the discipline to become a production weaver.  I wove those twenty yards of fabric.  They became camisoles and tea towels and other useful items.  I did not become a production weaver and I discovered that I was allergic to sewing, but I most certainly discovered discipline and focus.

I look at "plain vanilla" spinning and knitting as I did that weaving or my Sun Salutations.  Putting your best efforts into a simple 2 ply yarn or a plain garter or seed stitch scarf looks easy, but in order to maintain consistency in the yarns, to keep your stitches nicely tensioned and your fabric even, you must focus.  If you drift into other thoughts, you find your yarn drifting with them.  You drop stitches and your fabric becomes uneven.  You change all that by staying with what you are doing now.

My "plain vanilla" yarns and fabrics are far from perfect.  I still enjoy my mindless spinning and knitting, but paying attention to the simplest projects has improved my focus.  It helps me appreciate the beauty of simplicity and it disciplines me, mind and body, at times when the world seems to be getting away from me.  Simple, rhythmic spinning and knitting is akin to those Sun Salutations I practise every day.

Fortunately, there's no requirement to work on 108 projects at once.  I'm not quite there, yet.

A Basket of Simple Handspun Yarns in the Sun

No comments:

Post a Comment