Today I forced myself not to practice. Delving into my Iyengar last night I was reminded that Aparigraha (non-attachment or non-covetousness) applies as much to concepts, ideas, habits and practices as much as to material objects. And so I made my physical practice the subject of an exercise in my non-physical practice of yama. Today would have made seven straight days and that is probably a bit over the top.
It was difficult to take the holiday and the only way I could force myself to do it was to actually roll out the mat, and spend my time reading David Swenson’s book seated in Siddhasana on it. I haven’t really opened it in a while and it was a worthwhile exercise to go back through it and review and check my method. I’m indebted to this book which above any other resource has been key to developing my practice. I practice at home and not entirely by choice – the closest authorised teacher is at least an hour’s drive into the city and that’s just too far; I realise that there is something special about practicing at a shala. I’ve experienced it in the workshops that I’ve attended. There’s an energy and enthusiasm that’s infectious. It envelops, pushes and encourages you. This is why I want to go to Mysore – to tap into that day after day, month after month. I reckon it would take my practice (physical and otherwise) to another level. Anyway, I digress. As a home-practioner, the David Swenson’s book and DVD have been my primary resource of instruction. But I begin to feel that I’m outgrowing it.
There’s a bit of a vibe lately among the Ashtanga bloggers about Gregor Maele’s book. Having seen some of it, I’d say it’s justified – it looks a wonderful resource and I learned plenty just from the free excerpt on Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana. I think it’ll be a must have for me.
WARNING – IMMINENT AND DRAMATIC CHANGE OF SUBJECT WITH ABSOLUTELY NO SEGUE. With the Football season done and the World Cup still a few days away, I’m enjoying a bit of Cricket – England vs. Sri Lanka’s on the TV in front of me (I’d rather watch India vs West Indies but it’s not on offer). It looks a beautiful day in Nottinghamshire and the cricket is tense and interesting. I hope there’s a series in India when I get there. When there’s a match on it covers the country like a mesh – you can hardly escape it. In shops, resaurants and even temples monitors show the action. Anywhere you go, you’re at least within earshot of a radio and you always know what’s going on. A Cricket match is the proper way to spend a summer day – in a deckchair, July sunshine, with a cup of tea or a pint of stout watching and hearing leather on willow.