"Dance until you shatter yourself." -Rumi

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Tadasana | Mountain Pose
Anthony Quaglieri

I actually got my yoga practice in today. It was satisfactory and challenging enough.  I move from tadasana to standing poses to forward folds, to backbends to shoulder stand, to head stand preparation, to twists, to savasana.  I don't over do it. I just do my best in each pose. I'm building a separate tadasana practice. I set my phone alarm and I’m up to 4 minutes in tadasana.   I stand in an engaged tadasana for the whole time and by the 3rd minute I am in another land, breathing and holding the pose.  
I still think it's the hardest pose - being a conduit between the center of the earth and the center of heaven, opening myself as an aligned channel of energy between two points.  Engaging each foot completely on the ground in a willing marriage of non-gripping contact. Exerting equal effort in planting down while rising up.  
Isn't this what we want from life? To be completely engaged with that which nurtures and supports us while fully rising up at the same time, reaching for the sky with our crown chakra?  Why shouldn't this be the most rewarding effort of all? To be simultaneously engaged with the fully known ground and the unknown vastness of the sky and all it has to offer, and letting the mind just go an the breath be as an engine.  
I think taking tadasana is the best discipline of all. I effort toward a best practice in a particular moment in time with an earnest intention to concentrate with a quiet mind and see where the pose takes me. To keep as much engagement and alignment as I can. When one thing goes, I correct it and then another thing goes and I correct it, and then, maybe for a  second, I have most things engaged and aligned, and I know it in an unattached-to-ego way, I just feel intense pleasure. To let my body float in an effort toward greater alignment in the pose, knowing that there is no pose, just the reaching toward it.  
This is the intimacy of yoga, the conscious acceptance that there is nothing to get.  
To let go of waiting for the phone alarm to go off.  Instead, being in the challenge to stay engaged:  “How much more time do I have to see if I can keep my knees lifted, my shoulder blades tucked in, my chest going up, my feet engaged - how much more time do I have to be in this action to lift my upper body to the sky while rooting my lower into the ground.  To reach toward that second when effort and effortlessness are one.  A slice of time when I just am, without wanting to be somewhere else,  without waiting for the 4 minute alarm to go off, without having to remind myself to breathe, without caring if I'm doing a good job. 
What a life lesson is one pose.

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