Practice and study don’t always have to please you

I’ll admit it: Today’s one of those days when I’m feeling sorry for myself.

Practice was rough, especially after a bad night’s sleep. And work today is not affording my the opportunity to do what I’m desiring (lying on the beach, let’s say).

It’s just one of those days — I’m assuming we’ve all had them — when the after-effects of morning practice leave you a little dazed, a little confused.

I am taking a little solace in Richard Freeman’s last blog post, from July 13. It’s a little bit of switching the context, but for me, today, it helps. He is answering a simple question: What books on yoga should someone read who is just beginning to explore yoga philosophy? He finishes his answer with these words:

Another thought related to this: if a book disturbs you, pleases you, frustrates you, stimulates your mind—these are all important parts of the process of studying yoga philosophy. You don’t have to agree with everything that a book is saying about yoga.

Today, subbing in “your practice” for “a book” and those two sentences become a a bit of welcome solace. Practice did disturb me and frustrate me, as well as stimulate my mind. And I’m not especially agreeing with what it had to tell me.

But that’s an important part of studying yoga. And it was a timely reminder.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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