Moving Meditation

This is obviously not directly Buddhism-related, but it’s fairly close to the version of Surya Namaskar that I do. Or at least will begin to do again as soon as I feel my shoulder is rested enough. Anyway, there are some little differences, but it’s more or less the form I was taught. I love this practice, and for as long as I’ve done it I’ve considered it a meditation on mindfulness and balance.

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Impermanence

I had the fantastic fortune of going back to yoga this week. I’ve really missed it since we moved. I tried to establish a practice here, but it’s a bit crowded, and never very quiet. When yoga is properly practiced, at least for me, it’s such a wonderful moving meditation. At least, that’s how I think it ought to be.

I was lucky enough to have a classically trained teacher – a true yogini. I learned SO much from her. In fact, right before we left, I was contemplating certifying, at her suggestion. At this point, though, I’ve got a long journey back to where I was….

At the end of my first week back of regular practice, I had an instructor who’s practice was less than balanced. We did entirely too many sustained inversions, to my mind, at least for the mixed level of participants there. I was thinking that through most of the practice. After the class, I was trying to show my MIL (she was in the class that day) the traditional sun salutation (Surya Namaskar) I “grew up” with when my right shoulder just gave way and collapsed, right in the middle of bhujangasana. Talk about a total shock. I use my arms all the time – they are not weak, to my mind (think farmer’s wife). The only thing I can think of is that it was the same shoulder that I dislocated 3 times when I was a toddler. I dunno. Anyway, I’ve been forced to rest it this week, and practice has been impossible. Actually, for the first few days, a lot of things were impossible, or at least very painful.

It occurred to me that this was a great teaching for me – a lesson in humility and impermanence. Life changes, we all age, the range of possibilities shifts. I have no doubt I can return to my yoga practice. I just need to be more mindful and gentle with myself.