An Extraordinary Practice

I had a notable practice this morning. I’ve clearly breached some kind of plateau because my practices have been special the last couple of weeks and today’s was truly sweet.

It was unexpected. I was sore when I got this morning from planting trees yesterday (we observe Earth Day each year by buying and planting several trees – this year eight: 2 white spruce; 3 paper birch; 3 white pines). We live on the Niagara Escarpment. Thousands of years ago when glaciers cut a flattening swath through Ontario giving it the undulating countryside of today, it couldn’t grind down the hard granite of the Escarpment. As I said, we live on it – our house and land is on it and it hasn’t changed that much – I can seldom dig a hole even 5 inches deep without having to pull out large stones (we have one bolder the size of small car on our land which may be common where you are, but pretty rare in Southern Ontario…the Escarpment excepted) – digging, therefore, is always a job that requires a pick as well as a shovel – in fact it shouldn’t be called digging – it’s more like scratching or picking or heaving. Anyway, having ‘dug’ eight holes, a foot and half deep for each of the seedlings, I almost took a rest day asana-wise this morning.

I’m glad I didn’t. I got my first wrist bind in Mari B; my feet were off well off the ground in Kurmasana; I got a real genuine Garba Pindanasa for the first time ever. Most of all…Urdhva Dhanurasana…speechless…I don’t know how all of a sudden I can do pukka backbends. And they get better every day.

I’ve never enjoyed my asanas more. I’ve never found it easier to get up and do them…even at 4 or 5am. And of course, I’ve never done them so well. I can only put it down to my new diet – and here there is nothing shockingly innovative ; for years my diet’s been generally quite good, but lately I’ve taken it up a notch and gotten rid of every last remnant of crap – not a fry, chip or spoonful of ice cream in two months. Nor a beer or a glass of wine (nothing but water, green or black tea, or soya milk). I’ve been eating pounds of kiwi, oranges, pears, apples, mangos, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, spinach, tangerines, tomatoes, peas etc. Raw, steamed or baked. Save the occasionally shaving of cheddar on a veggie burger; no dairy; only whole grains; eggs rarely and even those, only organic free range. My headaches are gone – I mean totally. And my asanas are very definitely here. I’m not remotely tempted to regress. I’m repulsed by the idea of losing all this new real quality on and off the mat.

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