Ever seen the movie ‘Groundhog Day?’ The one where Bill Murray keeps waking up in the same day over and over again? This week as my 5.20am alarm jolts me awake I trudge wearily to meditation with that very concept in my head. Different day, same struggle!
Nearly three weeks into my training, sitting still with just my barrage of thoughts for company is not getting any easier. Heck, the other day I even carried the pillow off my bed to add to my variety of ‘props.’ Short of making a sofa out of them all, I settled for stuffing it underneath my sitbones in the hope of avoiding the numb butt feeling after half an hour.
When asked why she used to strive for the perfect drop back from standing to a backbend in her yoga practice, our philosophy teacher, Rose says very seriously: “Because it was exhilarating….Oh, and I used to take naked pictures of myself on the beach doing drop backs to send to my boyfriend…”
Well, at least she’s honest about it! But, putting Rose’s crazy hippie days in Goa aside, we all have a pose in our practice that we strive for and love to do. While there is nothing wrong with that, somewhere along our yoga path our ego can get too big for its boots, and that pose we so covet can land us with an injury. We forget that the physical practice (asana) is just one tool in the yoga box, and that it is in fact number three of the eight limbs of yoga. Out in front are the much overlooked ‘yamas and niyamas’ – yoga’s little moral and ethical codes. (I’ll delve into those another day!)
Meet my mate, Meditation.
We met a good while ago. Can’t say we’re the best of friends just yet, but we try to get together whenever we can. I hold my hand up and say I’m always the one to bow out first. Too tired…alarm didn’t go off…washing my hair… any old excuse.
I’m about to embark on a 5 week trip to Bali to do my 300 hours yoga teacher training. It will be an intensive time, with meditation featuring heavily on the schedule. I remember my level one training well…rolling out my mat at 6am for 1.5 hours of pranayama (breath work) and meditation. I always seemed to suffer from the ‘nodding head’ syndrome…minutes into the practice, I would discover with disgust that my head had almost dropped into my lap, and I was unable to account for my mental whereabouts over the last few minutes!