Originally uploaded by exhibitj.
Made it through the first five days of my new practice and I feel wonderful! It's a beautiful day. Today was a "led" class, meaning that the teacher leads the class, we all are doing the same thing that we are doing all week, except all at the same time. It's quite nice to get to do that once a week. Gives a feeling of camaraderie. And it was nice to walk in to the studio this morning to the sound of people quietly chatting. Usually, you begin as soon as you get there, and when I arrive there are about 15 or so people in various different poses, people move in and out of the room at their own pace. It's very peaceful and creates a feeling of inner concentration to practice on your own yet in a room full of people. But today was really nice because one, the teacher was calling out the poses, so I didn't have to think too hard, and two I was able to push myself to hold them longer in order to maintain the correct pace.
Last night as I was drifting off to sleep two thoughts entered my mind, this daily practice has brought me two gifts:
1: It is easy when you are in the academic world to begin to see your body as nothing but a vessel to carry your brain around. Ashtanga has reminded me that my body also needs to be challenged. And it has allowed me to reunite my brain and body.
2: Self Confidence. Since years ago when I had a child I have found my self-confidence fluctuating much more dramatically than it ever had before. I think it's because many times as a mother, you tend to loose sight of who you are as an individual. When one defines oneself through others, it becomes very hard to make peace and celebrate what is unique about you. This practice is something that I've wanted to do, and it's also something that the people around me now generally didn't think was in my character. I'm celebrating an aspect of my personality that has gone by the wayside since taking on the responsibilities of a family. It feels very good to have it back.