Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Bird on a Wire: Finding Balance

Pigeon Pose: Public Domain Image from Google

I tend to throw myself into my interests.  When I learned to weave, and then to spin, the pursuit of string consumed me.  I'd work my full time job, come home, grab a bite to eat and then sit down at my loom or wheel from 7 p.m. to midnight, every night.  My weekends were devoted to the discovery of yarns and cloth; I spent years in this practice, until my first child arrived and my priorities shifted.

I took a similar approach to yoga.  When I first came to yoga, shortly after I became enchanted with string, I changed my fibre practice to accommodate yoga classes.  Instead of heading straight home after work, I'd hop off the bus and go to a yoga class first.  I developed a routine: work, yoga, home, fibre.

Flinging oneself headlong into one's pursuits has its benefits.  If learning something really does require daily practice and 10,000 hours of study, then focused attention will move you along the path. Single-mindedness can bring awareness, attention to detail and new possibilities to explore.  Taking an interest certainly provides many hours of enjoyment, for you, at least, if not for your less-than-captivated family and friends, who may not appreciate the finer points of double-woven fabric on a back strap loom or the precise movements required to move into Downward Dog.  Then again, people always know where to find you--you're in the fibre room, surrounded by fleece; you're in the yoga studio, practising.

Devotion to a practice, any practice, can have its downside.  I was reminded of this today as I find myself exhausted after attending eight yoga classes since Sunday.  I could hardly get out of bed and have spent most of the day napping.  (Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, the two glasses of wine I had at a local restaurant last night may have contributed to my fatigue.  "Wild Child" is my middle name.)  Worse yet, I forgot a dear friend's birthday on Tuesday, because I was, you guessed it, at yoga.  Because of yoga, I haven't shared a meal with Mr. DD since Saturday.  The house is a mess.  (Well, it's usually a mess, but this time, the dust bunnies are stalking me, which is never a good sign.)  Might as well blame yoga for that, too.

It occurred to me that, if one of the goals in yoga is seeking balance, then I just might be doing it wrong. Perhaps, my yoga practice includes being mindful of other activities and other people, especially those I love. Perhaps, cramming in as much time at the yoga studio as I can is not always the best approach for a yoga practitioner in training. Perhaps, it's time to walk the wire a little more mindfully.

So, no yoga poses for me tonight, at least not away from home. It's 28C here, with a Humidex measurement of 39C, too hot for me to be walking to class, let alone practising asanas.  Instead, the dear friend and I went out for tea soda at my local coffee shop. I'll spend the evening sitting in the backyard, reading the Yoga Sutras, with a bit of Pigeon Pose thrown in for good measure. Saturday is marked for a soap making session with another friend. I feel my mood lifting, shifting, as balance is restored.


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