Ever so often I fall into a pattern that makes me stop and wonder. (Ponder?)
A few years ago I was set in my yoga practice. I had found a teacher and class I really enjoyed, and I went regularly. I felt that my understanding of Hatha Yoga was expanding, and so was my level of body awareness. It was exhilarating in so many ways, just like yoga classes mostly are.
Then things began to change. Perhaps this was the beginning of my “hermit” phase when I weaned off many social and group activities. I stopped going to class—maybe the teacher was gone for a bit, too? I cannot recall exactly but I began to practise at home instead, and it was really enjoyable. The pace was my own, and so was the sequence of asanas. I could change things up as I went along; I could play music if I wished; I could rest as long as I wanted, and I could end with seated meditation. Of course, these solo practice sessions weren’t as energetic as an in-class one but I found that my experience of Hatha Yoga ran deeper, and it also felt that the asanas revealed their nuances to me over time.
I sometimes wondered if I was merely being my “lazy” self who preferred to hang out at home instead of going to class. But I also knew that that was not the truth—I simply preferred to “fly solo” sometimes.
Fast forward a couple of years… I found myself at a yoga class, and it was a fun experience. Perhaps the years of solo practice had prepped me nice and proper, and I was able to experience more depths (and heights, bends, curves, etc.) in the class. I became a regular, going thrice a week.
Then India trips happened (Nov-Dec, Apr-May), so I couldn’t go to class any more, and I was back to practising on my own… and once again, I experienced the joy of deep, introspective, solo Hatha yoga practice.
And then I found myself at the same spot again… so comfortable in my home practice, so reluctant to go to class.
It’s so funny, I know! A group class takes me “far” but solo practice takes me “deep.” I wondered if the India trips had thrown me off-routine, and that’s why it was a challenge getting back. Now I wonder if it’s something else.
Perhaps Life reveals itself to us as we are. Perhaps it is reflecting to us what we are. Perhaps it isn’t us that’s responding to Life but Life that is responding to us. Perhaps it was my own strong wish for solitude that manifested in a series of events that made it simply hard to go to a class. Previously I thought “Life is the way it is, hence I am the way I am.” Now I wonder if I have been thinking in reverse all this while.