Getting just a taste of Sukham

I mentioned a while back that I’d had my first official private yoga class with our friend, longtime teacher and fellow student of Tim Miller, Maria Zavala.

On Sunday, it was round two (of a planned four). We ran through — I guess this is where I add my usual warning that this is a post about my own practice, a type of writing I like to avoid, but I promise to try to find something “universal” out of an experience I think is often really, really individualized — most of Primary, again, but then ventured into some research poses that might be useful for my own limitations.

It was a great lesson, producing an effect that, I think it safe to say, cannot be captured in a selfie.

And here’s the universal takeaway or the “greater Ah Ha” moment.

It came, perhaps coincidentally, almost in the pose I wrote about a month ago, about how Parivritta Parshvakonasana was and is teaching me a little about handling suffering. This time, it was Utthita Parshvakonasana where the lesson came. First side.

Maria was adjusting me: foot, rotation of the left leg, then that slight twist up of the torso. Finally, she turned my hand — I think I have this right — a little more so the palm was toward me.

There was much resistance in my shoulder. So I did the only thing I could. I relaxed it.

And a little more movement happened.

In my head, I thought, “That’s a little more ease there.”

Ah ha.

Sthira Sukham Asanam.

I discovered a little of the ease, to go along with (or perhaps moderate) the strength or stability, and got closer to the asana.

It just may be possible, and it just may work as Patanjali says. Even, or especially, in the tough moments.

And, like I said, I don’t think any selfie or photo can capture that.

Posted by Steve


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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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