“I’m not feeling so well today. Can you excuse me out of the class after 20min?”
I sent the above message to my teacher a few minutes before our 60min Yoga class was about to begin.
“Okay” she responded.
Fast forward 60min, I was still on the mat saying the conclusion prayer, the Shanthi Mantra.
“You stayed for the whole class, Vaidy” my teacher announced.
I felt great.
2 weeks ago, I’d felt on top of the world after cracking the Kakasana.
And now I was feeling good just for having stayed put through the 60min session.
Was I growing? Or slipping?
Here’s the thought sequence I had:
15min before the class: “I’m feeling tired. Perhaps I should skip the class today.”
10min before the class: “But didn’t I just suggest in my own blog that we should take baby steps forward, whenever we don’t feel like it?”
5min before the class: “Okay, let’s practice for 15-20min and leave the class”
The class starts.
20min into the class: “Hmm..what if I continue for a few more min? Let’s see what happens”
40min into the class: “It’s just another 20min. Let’s go the whole stretch”
As you can see, the process works like a charm. The “magic” started to work after the first 20min.
My mind, which was first resisting the idea of practice, was now starting to egg me on. All I need to do was to persist for the first 20min. After that, my mind took over and all I had to do was play along.
I learned a bunch of lessons from this experience:
– Writing this blog makes me a better deliberate practitioner: I’m on the hook to continually practice/test/refine the ideas I share here.
– We’re *not* our minds: My mind is a tool that “I” can wield/tame/hone. I just need to be careful to not let it take a life of its own.
– The obstacle is the way: It’s a choice – is it a “setback” or a “challenge”? Choosing to see at a challenge makes us grow. As they say, what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.