Days 4-6: Teacher Sacrifice, The Accidental Practice and the Non-Practice

I don't know what this has to do with anything, but it came up in my image search for "zen" and I thought, "Yeeeeessssss..."

Well life is just kicking into high gear, and it’s times like these I’m most grateful for my practice. I’ve been busy at the restaurant, added another photoshoot tomorrow morning that has a 24-hour turnaround on it, and I leave for Raleigh for another yoga teacher training on Friday afternoon (did I mention my parents will be there and my sister’s in a play and I’m wrapping a family visit and theater night into this crazy weekend, too?). The good news is, I just scarfed some incredible sushi, some Ben and Jerry’s and a cucumber water and while I need to be in bed in 25 minutes I feel on TOP of it! That said, I’m writing this and I have not practiced yet today.

But I’m not freaking out. Not in the least. Because, ultimately, the practice has to serve me. And I know beyond a doubt right now that what I need most is ten minutes of quiet meditation before bed so that I can sleep like a log and rock the crap out of this shoot tomorrow morning. No part of me feels that by not participating in an asana practice today I’m failing in any way.

So tonight we have the The Non-Practice, or better yet, the meditative practice. Yesterday was another story. For some reason I had this whole schedule worked out for how my day off would go, and for the most part, it went just as planned. But I had a little downtime before dinner with Jeff and although I had this great, solar practice planned for later in the evening, I found myself gravitating toward my mat. And before I knew it, what was just going to be a little warm-up, a little feel-good stretch, became the practice. Thirty minutes later I found myself in savasana feeling complete. And I left it at that.

And then there was Day 4 before that, when I made the teacher’s sacrifice. I was getting ready to close the door and lock myself in my little den of zen, but when I told Jeff what I was up to and he got this little light in his eyes and asked if he could join me and if I would teach him my sequence, I knew what had to be done. Yes, I did most of the practice with him, but when you’re teaching there is no becoming one with the breath or going inside. Your object is your student and your duty to them is to stay present and aware. I love teaching, being the river guide. But teaching is a different kind of practice, one of awareness and calm vigilance.

When I first started this sadhana, I had envisioned the potential for the days to start running together. Maybe I thought I would have to put in great effort to make sure each day’s practice was unique. Well, my friends, I can tell you right now that every day is an adventure and every practice has distinguished itself greatly from the one before. It all goes back to the futility of trying when the good stuff most often comes through letting go.

And now, I’m off to get my ten minutes 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Days 4-6: Teacher Sacrifice, The Accidental Practice and the Non-Practice

  1. I totally agree with you. As yogis, we’re practising non-attachment, but at the same time, how many of us get attached to their daily practice and become really upset if something else comes up we need to take care of?
    It’s easy to take your life with you on the mat, but how hard is it to take the yoga off the mat, into life…sigh. 🙂

  2. Even the stream that appears to flow smoothly has hidden eddies and undercurrents, and thus does life, little grasshopper. Your yoga is an excellent tool, one of many possible, through which you can gain your powerful insights into life.

    Your comments, as always, are very real and true.

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