The following contains excerpts from a bull’s-eye blog post written by David Garrigues, Philadelphia yoga extraordinaire. You could replace each yoga reference with “running”, “writing a book”, “living with gusto”, or any other intentional endeavor. Please read. Please read again. My sincere wish is for This to pick at you like it did me.
Yoga continues to ask you to change, to sacrifice, to give up harmful habits and behaviors. Yoga not only asks you to give up things, it asks you to cultivate and build new patterns. Practice asks you to repeat postures, the breathing technique, and to concentrate day after day. The intensity of commitment and devotion needs to keep growing–OR RATHER THAT CHOICE IS THERE FOR YOU–If you want to move beyond the plateau, if you want new layers of depth and power to be revealed you might have to call up more commitment, more change from within your self.
Distraction, pain, extra weight, spacey-ness, sudden bouts of lethargy, depression all serve to dampen the energy that goes into play in an asana. All manner of diversions share the characteristic of dampening life force. Do you see that? To be truly engaged in life, living your dreams, putting your self, your creativity, your love on the line takes tremendous energy. You have to be able to manage those levels of energy. Going into a depression or eating or day dreaming about a different life or thousands of other diversions gives you an escape valve. If you go and have a beer or smoke a joint or dip into the pint of Ben and Jerry’s you are temporarily relieved but that relief is momentary. Because a large source of our panic, desperation, anxiety, loneliness and unhappiness comes from not attaining the strength to allow the full extent of our life force, our power to come into play in our bodies, lives and spirits.
Nobody said it was easy to stay the course. You must persist past the distractions. I would much rather have continued staring blankly at my computer screen willing for poise and inspiration to dazzle with my prose rather than proceed to my mat to plough through a portion of the Asthtanga Primary Series. But I drank David’s Kool – Aid with a beer pong and got on my mat; often the hardest part of yoga practice. My joints popped in gratitude for releasing the junk in them from sitting for too long at my desk. There is so much more to do here and that is the gift. Keep mining the pose, the course, the character you are building. There are diamonds in there.
Keep digging your well. Water’s there somewhere.
– Rumi, beloved spiritual poet
My children and I went to the Folk Music Festival in Dowtown Richmond, Virginia on Saturday. We powered through poor (parking) choices. I persisted in the goal to get our arses to the event. And we did it. The music was poetic and I packed a lot of water.
And fun was had by all.
Press on, friends.
What do you think the letter of the day is?