Upping the Ante



As I turn out the light on one exhausted 15 year old, who’s fallen asleep while trying to complete his homework, I think about how different our lives were just 3 weeks ago. Back then, he was sleeping in (past noon on most days) while I went to the yoga studio each morning for the early morning mysore practice. I was dedicated to learning the ashtanga primary series — practicing each morning and reading up on it at night. It had become a routine that my body had responded nicely to — after the initial shock of my starting the rigorous daily practice. I loved that my days were not as painstakingly rough as they have been, thanks to my chronic bout with back and hip pain. Aside from finding comfort, my days were energized and I was actually sleeping at night! But…

Then came the return to school. High school, to be more precise. Football practice too. And HOMEWORK.

The return to the school routine was devastating enough to my morning routine, then came another set of changes. Included in the changes was a new expectation of longer work days which was placed on my department of four. After all my efforts to arrange a carpool so I could hit the mysore room every other day wouldn’t matter. Even when it is not my turn to drive the kids to school (which gets me in the general area of the office an hour earlier than I am used to), going to mysore is still not the option I’d hoped. I’d still have to abbreviate my practice.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve tried to keep up my home practice but, sadly, I have become so tight from my reduced practices that once again I HURT. It feels like I’m starting over. And, in a way, I am.

I start off my mornings meditating for 20 minutes, just so that I can move. Then, I use whatever time I have left for a slowed down practice. In the evenings, I try to set aside at least 30 minutes to read and enhance my understanding of the practice. It’s a start but I can do more.

As I look to my son to “up his game”, I recognize that I too must up the ante for my own good. Perhaps it means a shorter but more consistent practice… maybe at night. If I want to see a change, I need to create it by putting forth the effort and consistency that it requires. Right action… to be the change that I wish to see.

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