Today I was able to do a yoga pose that I had never been able to do before. It’s called tripod pose, and when I see people do it, or if it was described to me, my mind would say “No way.” But my martial arts and meditation training taught me not to listen to that voice. So I have tried Tripod many times. Sometime I balance just for an instant and that gives me a sense of possibility. Today I actually hung out there. When the teacher and I discussed why one day you can suddenly do something new, she said, “Well practice helps, and having a good foundation. “
Later I thought how true that was with so many things in my life. When I teach people meditation , with the emphasis on building our ”coming back to the present moment muscle” , I suggest (as many meditation teachers do) that we have a regular practice during a time we have set aside away from the busyness of our lives. Then when difficult things happen, our practice and our foundation will be there for us.
Last year at this time , I was pacing the halls of UCLA’s Intensive Care Unit, watching my mother struggle to hold on to life, or was she trying to let go? Either way, it was a very difficult time for my family. One particularly terrible Friday night I was there alone, and she was having a procedure done to her by physicians who were total strangers and didn’t seem to have any sense of her as a person. They asked me to leave the room for a few minuets. I found a small room off the hallway and called my meditation teacher. Initially I just sobbed into the phone, and he listened. Then he said, “First of all, know that you can do this.” He was reminding me of my practice and my foundation. “Secondly, what ever you are feeling, feel it. It will move much more quickly.”
Experiences like this stretch us beyond where we think we can go. That is why we practice on the yoga mat and the meditation cushion.
Here is a picture of Tripod pose.
I encourage you to go beyond your perceived limits. Practice when all is well, and this strength will be there for you when you need it. Come join us at our annual Meditation and Yoga retreat July 22-24th,www.mindful-way.com/retreats or visit our site for more information.
So well put Beth, and there is nothing better than the feeling that comes when for all the ill fated attempts, one moment comes along and we almost achieve the goal. The inspiration to keep trying in that moment is exhilarating. I recently experienced this, trying once again, the dance pose where you stand on one leg and reach for the other foot behind your back. I’m sure in most classes it looks like a graceful ballerina. For me and my daily attempts it looks like a desperate hold on the back of my shorts trying to stand still. Then the other day I reached back and felt my foot coming up to meet my hand. Of course when my EGO grabbed for the attention I began to waver, but did so filled with an enormous sense of accomplishment. Will attend the retreat in spirit.