And the Spirit of Kurma Was with Me….

Last month I started frequenting the studio because of “psychology of anticipated deprivation,” trying to make the most out of my free time then. My job now requires me to work late at night (read: I have to miss my yoga class) and to go on out of town trips more than once in a month (read: I have to do self-practice). Indeed, this March, I had two weeks of self-practice, the quality of which ranged from struggling, to really, really, struggling, to reverse sequence (read: shavasana first then I don’t remember anymore what I did next). The last one usually happens when I have to work for 13 straight hours, at times including a four-hour interview. No coffee, no nap time, no break 😦

Last week I spent four days in Cebu for field work and brought my mat JUST IN CASE I find time to practice. I wasn’t really optimistic about practicing, as we were forewarned that nights would be spent doing write-ups for the following day’s tasks. But lo and behold, during our courtesy call to the Director on day one, this is what I saw on a rack of items for sale (products of local microentrepreneurs):

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A reminder I guess that I have to keep on working on my supta kurmasana. And I did practice! Twice! Pat, pat, pat! Or rather, practice, practice, practice….

Last Tuesday, I was finally back to my formal class in studio. It turned out to be my time to move to grabha pindasana. Yes, YT is quite strict about me moving to the next pose…unless I am able to bind or do this or do that it means I have to stay where I am and master the pose some more. Can’t do the succeeding poses even just for fun. Well, YT is YT…he doesn’t wear his hat as PE instructor in the shala (which I think is good, lest he makes me do things that kinesthetically challenged people like me would dread).

I was quite surprise with how I was able to slip my arms through my folded legs in my new asana. Sure I was struggling but I was able to do it. I tried doing it in the past on my own and I just ended up bruising my arms and legs…but still no yogin in grabha pindasana in sight.

Now I have learned to appreciate the beauty and logic of ashtanga…that one pose serves as preparation to the next. I guess this time I was ready, my joints were ready for the pose—I realized how space is created in padmasana into which I could slip my arms. And yes, I appreciate how YT promotes discipline and makes sure that we are ready for the next pose before moving into it.

The same thing is true in life…we can’t and shouldn’t force something when we are not yet ready for it.

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Kurmas on our fridge

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2 thoughts on “And the Spirit of Kurma Was with Me….

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