IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

Observing what "is"

Thursday, January 03, 2013 what Yoga "is."  Well, that doesn't fully sum it all up...or does it?

I was listening to a Richard Freeman (pictured above) talk today as I headed to our hot yoga studio to do my practice.  Today I didn't attend a guided class, but I was practicing in the same room as my husband.  I wasn't practicing with him, but there have been days in the past when I have been very tempted to do his yoga practice.  He is an advanced practitioner, so it can be tough at times to let go of my grasping to do what he does (check out our photo gallery to see for yourself!)

Today was different.  While I've listened to this particular 'Studio Talk' by Richard countless times before, there was a line that struck me as I pulled into the lot.  While I'm not quoting verbatim, he said that the practice of yoga is essentially the "observation of what is."  Now, I should also mention that I fell and hurt my arm last week, and so I was nervous to launch into a gazillion sun salutations (specifically Upward Facing Dog (known in Sanskrit as Urdhva Mukha Svanasana.)  

Richards words shifted something, making my practice slow and skillful today.  I spent a lot of time patiently observing the sensations in my wrist, forearms, and I was surprised to discover pain deep in my shoulder joint & beneath the scapula on the right side.  I moved through a sequence of postures that opened the shoulder and provided a deep, therapeutic stretch & release.  Updog wasn't comfortable, so I didn't push through them (as I am sometimes wont to do.)  As I moved in and out of each posture I found myself practicing keen awareness and the attachment to having a vigorous practice melted away.

The discomfort is still there, but there was a great release and relief from the practice of observation of what "is" along with the acceptance of what "is."  And, I'm happy to report I didn't notice my husbands practice at all today (well, almost...he IS pretty awesome to 'observe!')


"Who apart from the gods is without pain for his whole lifetime's length?" ~Aeschylus

Friday, December 28, 2012
Do not be ashamed of your pain or the effects it brings. There will be those who are close to you who will not understand, but do not despair. Part of our human existence is to experience pain in some form or another...allow this moment to build your capacity for compassion, even for those who might forsake you in your hour of need. Pain does not discriminate, and while it might not show it's face to us all in the same way or at the same hour, it will visit every single one of us at some point in our lives. May this truth bind us together and ultimately increase our capacity for compassion, understanding, and loving-kindness for one-another. Please be kind to those who are suffering, as we will all know suffering and need the kindness & understanding of others at some point along our journey.

(I originally wrote & posted this to one of our Facebook pages in May of 2012.  I'm in the midst of a painful migraine today and needed a reminder so I'm reposting.)

If you live with chronic pain, how do you manage it?

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