Back to Basics

My practice has been erratic since I got more involved in the microfinance sector last quarter of 2009. January is almost over and i have had full practice only twice so far. Not really good.  In between those times, I did either standing poses or flow yoga.

Last Sunday, weirdest of weird things, I hurt my back as I move to prasarita A. It’s just a forward bend that I have been doing since I was a kid so how did I hurt myself? I don’t know. Teacher A asked if I bent my knees as I move to the pose. I was not sure. Lack of awareness. Bah! Teacher J suspected I was pushing myself too much. Probably, but not necessarily in my practice. Hmmm. Back hurts until now but at a tolerable degree.

I’m now back to doing flow yoga where I started. Since it’s less physically demanding than ashtanga, I could rest my back for a while without really foregoing practice. Back to basics. Pun intended.


I shifted style to ashtanga exactly a year ago and as I did flow today, I noticed remarkable changes in my body. My arms are definitely stronger now; seated forward bends are deeper and much easier, and my triangle looks a lot better (though still imperfect). However, I find certain asanas more difficult to do now, if I could at all. Pigeon has become IMPOSSIBLE, not even the modified pose; the bow and some twists have turned particularly difficult despite the marichys. I guess there’s a trade-off between strength and flexibility. 


I’d like to believe that the flip side of trade-off is focus. By focusing on what’s important to me, I put all others in the periphery (and some I even give up). And so if I constantly favor that one item in the trade-off, I am in effect focusing on it. 

This year, I just made two major decisions in life, as I focus on things that matter to me the most. Sure there are trade-offs but slowly I can see how everything fits together. Necessary trade-offs they turn out to be. As a professor once said, laser can do so much more than an ordinary light, cutting through even the toughest material, because it is focused. Yup,maybe that’s what I want–I want to do more and cut through all (possible) obstacles in achieving them.

So my mantra this year is FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS.   



5 thoughts on “Back to Basics

  1. One of my teachers once said, “practice… focus… surrender…”

    Speaking of trade-offs… I just told the 2 YM ladies this morning after practice… that one of the things that I noticed in my practice is that I’m stronger and flying in my vinyasas… trade-off is that I’m not as flexible… with the other teacher, the focus is on going deep into the asanas, not so much on the strength and flying… so even within the same system, you get trade-offs. Again, it all boils down to being able to balance all these variables and in time, find that stillness… that equanimity… that peace… that we are all seeking.

    The more that we seek outside… the more that we actually don’t see what we want to see… it is only in looking within that we’ll find that peace.


    • Thanks, Teacher J. Yup, look within.

      Had dinner with a good friend the other night. He, too, made probably the strangest decision to pursue his grandest dream. And he knew, too, that not everyone would understand. If we will listen to others who do not know our hearts (or who pretend or think that they do), no matter how well they mean, we won’t find peace… that peace that comes from knowing that we are doing what we are meant to do. As I told him, “it is something that is so difficult to articulate, much less to explain, but in my heart, it makes a lot of sense… it just feels so perfectly right deep within.” =D


  2. Hey, I was just blog hoppin’ and stumbled upon your site. I am into yoga as well (a sort of struggling yogini). Hope you don’t mind if I link you up 🙂

    • Hi Kat! Thanks for dropping by. Sorry for late reply, I haven’t been around lately. Sure, no problem, enjoy your “visit” here 😉 Where do you practice? Checked your site too. Interesting to know that you’re also into photography.

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