Sweet practice yesterday. I had a cancellation, which freed up some extra time in the morning. So I was able to get on my mat, and move how my body wanted, all without concern for the time. The result was fantastic.
The couple days leading up to yesterday had been very active, both on and off the mat - a lot of running around, teaching, music school, workshop - and my practice was bouncy and energetic to match that. Having that extra hour yesterday changed all that. I was on my mat for almost an hour before I even stood up. My body wanted to be 'in' the poses, and I allowed that to happen. There were far too many breaths to know the number but just enough to feel like I could really observe the movement of the inhale and exhale. I really hung out, especially in Virasana, Mandukasana (Frog Seat or Japanese Warrior Seat), Ardha Adho Mukha Svanasana (Half Dog). I was able to notice change. I could literally feel my butt getting heavier into my arches in Mandukasana every time I exhaled. Amazing. I even found a way to rig myself into Navasana with a belt so I could really stay in it without too much shaking or struggle, and I had a wonderfully deep Savasana. Lord knows that doesn't always happen. The whole experience was incredibly illuminating. I felt light and curious, and I wasn't thinking, 'how am I going to teach this?' or 'can I teach this?' It was my practice, for me. That isn't always possible even if the intention is there.
Paul and I were just talking about that the other day; sometimes when we get to really practice on our own, for ourselves, it can start to feel like we aren't setting ourselves up to teach. That might be true but Dana has always reminded me of how important it is to set ourselves up for the day and for our life, and to let our teaching grow from that place. I embrace that.
I don't want to sound attached but... I much prefer to have a practice like yesterday rather than one where I 'thinking' about anything or actively 'preparing' something. Sure, that can be wonderful too but it's different. A practice like that can be exciting because something will happen on the mat that I'll be juiced to share with students, and that's definitely the joy and the gift in teaching. But when I get to practice solely for myself, without any outer concerns I feel truly prepared to LIVE. Wow, now that's a gift.