Be like a pelican in your Ashtanga practice
The other day, Bobbie and I were on the beach and a pelican flew by, doing his/her pelican thing.
Hopefully you know it, because it’s awesome. Pelicans fly just above the water, skimming along, seemingly only flapping their wings when they need to lift clear of a breaking wave.
This weekend, we watched as a crow played in some wind above a building in our town. It looked lazy, almost, as it caught the updrafts and stayed so high with, again, the least effort possible.
In keeping with our recent “use your imagination” theme, I’d suggest perhaps adding this imagery to your practice:
Be like a bird in your practice. I think a pelican is the way to go, but you may have a bird preference.
By this, I simply mean: Use less effort. It’s a message you’ll hear from the senior teachers — they’ve all been there, done the fancy acrobatics, floated outrageously here, pushed up into handstand there. But the practice should be enough — if it isn’t, you’re probably doing something “wrong.”
A bird isn’t going to expend extra energy to get from here to there; after all, it might need it simply to survive the unexpected: an attack from a raptor, a boat barreling its way.
Are we so different, on or off the mat?
Posted by Steve