my husband was once an avid rock climber – something most might consider an extreme sport, for the fit and the daring.
he is still the strongest man i know AND a risk taker – but the most important strength is not always physical and risking life and limb is severely overrated when one has a family to consider. so frankly, i’m just as happy now that my husband has exchanged his ropes for a rod … because fly-fishing, his passion now, is something he can and will do, every day – forever and ever.
and it’s a sport that continues to challenge and inspire him. today, he ties his own flies … can read a river like no one else … with a cast that is nothing short of awe-inspiring. lucky for him, he’s found something he loves, that grows with him, and here’s the best part – it’s sustainable.
once upon a time, i practiced yoga like an extreme sport – the harder and more daring, the better. i’m afraid the classes i taught probably looked more like a boot camp filled with drills and poses, fast and furious, than an actual yoga session. if you called me a hard teacher, i wore it like a badge. same way i wore my own sore and tired muscles.
but back then, i also didn’t practice every day. i couldn’t. because a practice like that cannot be maintained.
this morning, as i came to my mat, it occurred to me what i love most about my ashtanga practice – it’s also sustainable. i never leave my mat feeling depleted nor defeated. at the same time, i’m neither bored nor lacking. it’s progressive, so i’m always growing. it’s challenging, so i’m always working. but it’s also building from a place of strength and stability – so i’m never in over my head.
yeah, i do the same practice, for the most part, every day. so think about it … that means, as i leave for montana – i get to take my practice with me. and when my daughter leaves for italy next semester, she has hers. neither of us depend on a teacher or a studio for our daily dose.
i also don’t have to dream up complex sequences to challenge myself. trust me, patthabi took care of that already. and even better, his are intelligent. the practice is linear, so future postures build on the foundation of earlier ones. when the time comes, my body is ready – the basic skill set is already present. consequently, i’m neither overwhelmed nor bored and i’m constantly engaged to aspire to a place that’s already within my reach.
and you know why i think we have prescribed days off (saturdays and moon days)? – because otherwise, we might not EVER take a day off. because there’s no need as i don’t ever wake up so overly sore and crippled that i can’t come back to my mat. that’s why rest IS part of the practice: to restore. so even this is prescribed.
i am in my mid forties now and my yoga practice is now way more bad-ass than it was back in my younger, more extreme days. chalk it up to the difference consistency, balance, and an intelligent sequence can make. thirty years from now, i don’t know what specific asana i’ll be practicing, but i guarantee you one thing – i WILL be practicing.
i know of other yoga practices where the same is true. and i also know i enjoy a little “yoga play” from time to time. my friend augusta calls these sort of sessions her “dessert” (can you say, saturday rocket, perhaps?) – something to be enjoyed after her RDA – recommended daily asana.
so this summer, as we head to montana, my husband will practice his daily yoga – as i will practice mine. just as we will, i suspect, from this time ever after. and may you too, also find a love and passion that feeds you daily … one that keeps you supported and challenged … balanced and happy. xo
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i hope to keep this blog updated with insights and musings. should you ever have a question or request – please email me! i can not promise the answer, but i suspect i will always have something to say! xo