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I’m behind, missing Day 32.  In writing, not the yoga.  Well, let me change that. I missed Day 31 of yoga, so I am more behind than I thought.  And let me say that skipping one day of yoga practice, now feels like a very long time!

But as the story goes….. an interesting thing happened along the way.

No yoga on Thursday. Friday, done!

Saturday…. and class wasn’t until 9:30am so I had a long time to think about the practice ahead.  A long time to build some expectations – or not.

My yoga practice goes up and down, forward and backward with regards to how I feel about it, progress, what I expect to get out of it.  Saturday I was at a point of surrender.  You know, feeling like it doesn’t matter what the heck I do or what progress I make, all I really want is to get on my mat and move a little.

Why is it we think we have to get somewhere? Make progress? Go a little further? Do a little more? It isn’t what yoga is supposed to be about.  For me, it is supposed to be doing something I love. Keeping my body moving and healthy. Building awareness and focus. Learning to be calm, still and peaceful. That is my yoga. So why the continual need in the back of my mind that it has to improve?

I went to class ready to accept it, wherever it was today.  I discussed my somewhat problematic SI joint with the teacher and said I was going to take it easy, try to bring some awareness into what might be causing me the joint problem.  If I stopped doing a pose, or opted out, she would know why.

I love this teacher’s classes. Always new and fresh and well paced. We begin. A vinyasa class, building heat and sweat and getting the old heart pumping. Then slowly she leads us into to some balances.

First it was crow, or crane pose.

I often have a hard time with this, but particularly when your knees are supposed to be up almost into your armpits. For whatever reason, it is difficult. But doing so with my knees back a little, balanced on the backs of my upper arms like in the picture above, it is easier. I focus. Lift my last foot up a couple times. Maybe lifting my last toe off the ground for a second or two. Then focus one more time …. and I must have held the pose, balanced, for about 30 seconds. Longer than ever before. How did that happen?

On to more seated poses, working towards another opportunity for a balance.

Laughable this one. Me, lifting my entire weight from a seated position and balancing. Not going to happen. Never has. But, what the heck……. I’m up! Now, the other side. Again, I’m up! I am up off the ground!

Another lesson. Like I haven’t been presented with this one a few times over.

When I give it up. When I surrender. When it doesn’t matter whether I can…. or cannot, it just comes. Not without work or focus or determination. But it seems like when I’m not searching for or expecting a particular outcome, it just happens.

And not that achieving either of these is a big deal after. Tomorrow they may not happen again. Does it even matter? Only so much that I recognize that it isn’t important to achieve either, but that I’m willing to work and willing to be with whatever happens.

In yoga class. In life.

(and finally, I’m very behind …. in publishing this post)