The not-so horror of missing practice

The other night, I had to skip my practice.

I know, horror!

It was a last-second thing. I actually was at the door of the studio when I got called away.

In the not-too-distant past — meaning, if I’m honest, the other night — this would have really bothered me. Missing practice! That can’t happen.

To continue with the honesty, the reason it would have bothered me was all — or, if I’m feeling charitable toward myself, mostly — ego. There goes 75 minutes or so of sweating, moving activity. Did I sneak a cookie earlier? Who knows what round number the scale will blink up at me. Do I need to practice on Saturday to make up for it?

Those are the types of thoughts that would run through my head. But the other night, probably because the reason I had to miss was a good one — without diving into it, I could probably classify it as karma yoga, if I wanted — I was less bothered than in the past.

As I thought more about my calmer reaction, I realized there was another reason, too. No, sadly not Dharana, let alone Dhyana or Samadhi.

My practice feels regular now, a part of the routine (although never routine).

Keep in mind, my Ashtanga practice as a daily endeavor is still only about 16 months old. In the early days, it felt as if I didn’t go, if I missed practice, there was the real risk that that would be the day that started the slide away from practice. Oh, I can sleep in again. I did yesterday, and that was fine. Maybe I’ll just run after work, it’s really all I have time for, anyhow.

And the next thing you know, no more Ashtanga.

This time, though, I knew I’d get up the next morning (I did!) and the morning after that (I did, again!).

There’s still tomorrow, though. But I feel pretty confident I’ll make to the Led class. Not that I’m taking it for granted.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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