Self-Practice: The Subtext


This post is part of a weekly series about the realities, the challenges and the joys of self practice. For more posts in this series, click here

What you cannot see: The brief 15 minutes of my full physical practice this morning; slow and gentle and static with lots of forward folds; my opposite foot pressing strongly into the wall behind me and the whole-body integration that results; how lovely it feels to both rely on the support of the floor and the wall, and to resist them at the same time, that elusive, momentary sweetness between pushing and yielding, acceptance and effort; the dull tension ache wrapping the right side of my neck and skull since yesterday; my upper arm wrapped, shoulder rolling back, nose facing the floor with chin tucked, working into those neck fibers in hopes of relief; my body steady, strong, neck loose and soft; my unshaved legs and my running thoughts and my rather unsuccessful attempts to settle them; the tiny apartment where my practice takes place, “living room” to the left, “bedroom” to the right; the way I love the light in this space; the emotions that accompany my practice this morning, frustration with the aching head, gratitude when I can separate that sensation from the rest of my body which feels GOOD. The years it took to arrive here, all that has happened before and will come after. You cannot see my schedule for the day (which is light), the demands I place on myself (which are incredible), or the way I treat myself in the process (which today, is mostly kind despite the high demands & headache. I am always, ever in the gap and if anything I am becoming clear on this). You cannot see all the practices wrapped within the physical energy, effort, or flexibility that bring me here. The photo is a moment, there is always a subtext.

What’s the subtext of YOUR yoga practice? What wouldn’t we know, unless you chose to share?

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