Over the years I’ve had an on-again, off-again hatha yoga practice. The last time I practiced with regularity was about five years ago when I still lived in India. I also taught for a few years previous to that. I don’t know why I allow such gaps in my practice. Yoga postures, for me, are absolutely one of the best gifts I give to myself. I could ponder the psychology behind my lapses or I can just move on and take up the practice again. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter why I’ve drifted away in the past as true yoga is about the Now and I endeavor to be, if nothing, else a true yogi. It’s not the fault of the teachings if I fall short. They are true even if I am not always so. Consistency in many areas of my life has sometimes been hard to come by. Not that I’m a flake. I will keep my word to others without fail. For myself, though, I’ve allowed — perhaps too much at times — more leeway in certain areas of my life. It doesn’t matter WHY. Time to move forward.
One of the reasons I feel inspired to take up hatha yoga again is that the physical body is making itself too known in ways that are not appreciated. I’ve never been an athletic person or taken much time to care for the physical body. No traumas, breaks, or major conditions have forced me to do so. It probably helps that I am a non-smoking, non-alcohol drinking vegetarian. And a coward. No rock climbing, zip lining, spelunking trips for me! Not that I’ve been a total couch potato. On an irregular basis — here’s where the leeway I allow myself comes in — I love hiking, long walks, biking, swimming and other gentle, steady-on-my-feet, no heights involved activities.
Still, age happens. And in my late 40’s I began to feel as though the body was reaching a crossroads where it was time tend to its minor issues or turning back would become more challenging than it had ever been. In my youth, I was able to drop my practice and pick it up months later with not much effort to get back on track. No longer. And now in my early 50’s — I’m a slow learner — I realize that I am coming dangerously close to the point where turning completely around will be impossible. Oh, it’s never too late to take up hatha yoga and receive deep and lasting benefits. But, I remember the depth I acquired with my younger body and would like to emulate that as closely as possible at my current age. The body is speaking and it’s time to listen more closely.
And so…. and so I’ve decided to once again dive into the most dynamic activity that heals me physically, mentally and spiritually.
Here I am attempting The Twist.
Actually, this is Brigitte. My lovely, soft, Bengal kitty cat. She’s been complaining because I note her in the tag line of this blog, but have yet to mention her specifically or show her beauty to the blogging world. She was attempting to encourage me to get down on the floor and do a few postures, but at the time I was occupied eating bruschetta and watching “Chopped.” Besides, I told her, the spine should be nice and tall when practicing The Twist.
Maybe she was thrown off balance by her tail.