Almost two weeks ago, Alex said to me,”I think we should try a six day a week practice next week.”
I replied,”Well, why not do it this week?”
“Ok,” he answered.
Traditionally Ashtanga yoga in the mysore style is a six day a week practice (no Saturdays and no new or full moon days). When I started practicing Ashtanga, I remember looking at the people in the room that did it six days a week and thinking, “I have no idea where they get the energy to do it.” I should point out that I am not a sloth. I have always been a 5-6 day a week worker outer. However, I have never done 6 days a week of just one thing. I always switched off between running and the gym or yoga. For me that provided a mental break. Since Walter was nicely asked not to come to mysore, Alex and I have traded days that we go to mysore (I go one day and he the next, etc.) while the other person takes Walter and Sophie for a run. Running has always been important to me too, it is something that I have done consistently in my life since middle school. I like consistency and the small routines that make up everyday life and I don’t like them to change. So the decision to give up the running and just focus on yoga was one I felt comfortable with, but it marked one of those big changes in life that have been a long time coming, but still big and different. Oh and did I mention that a six day a week practice meant that I had to get up at 6 a.m. every day instead of sleeping in until about 7:30 a.m. when Walter woke up on the days I stayed home to run with him.
Now we are finishing up the second week and I had been a bit down about the whole thing. Usually when I am able to practice six days in a row, I have some sort of break through – something happens. Last time I did it, I could finally reach my toes in prasarita padottanasana D. I was most of the way through the second week and absolutely nothing. I was happy I had done it, but no break through (I know, I know, there is this yogic principle (or yama) of Aparigraha which means that you should do your best and not be attached to the outcome of your actions, but stilllllll). Then there was a Thursday lead class to prepare us for a workshop in Encinitas with Sharath and Saraswati (so excited!!) and my teacher reached a pose where full lotus was necessary. I thought to myself, I probably can’t do this, but let’s play anyway. I pulled my right foot in to my hip and then picked up my left foot to bring it over on top and it went right over my right leg. I reached over and hit Alex and motioned for him to look, I was so excited! I am generally pretty tight and not flexible at all, but I did it anyway, it felt really good. So the morale of this story is that a six day a week practice is a hard mental block to get over, but it kinda rocks once you do something you really never thought you would!