Thursday, December 9, 2010

“I’m Late. I’m Late…”

“…For a very important date,” said the White Rabbit from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. That’s what I felt like this morning.

I am on my second month. I feel stronger but my body is tired. I am starting to tighten, here and there. I am starting to feel the strain of back bending.

And for whatever reason (probably practice related, I am not the only one) I can’t sleep. Or at least, I can’t sleep much. For a few weeks now, I toss and turn in bed for hours, mind raging with a bevy of thoughts (and here I was thinking yoga would quiet my mind), from imagining life back home to visualizing a positive approach to my “problem” asanas to fearing being late to practice. Ah, the law of attraction!

I was bumped up to 4:30am start Tuesday morning, an hour earlier than when I started. And despite the time, I was stoked, excited to share in that early morning energy, to recite the prayer with everyone, to be in the room with so many inspiring practitioners.

And then today, for the first time, I overslept! Despite two alarm clocks, I woke up two and a half hours later than I was supposed to. I stared at the clock willing the short hand to swing back somehow, perhaps I’d developed a time-altering sidhi while I slept or at least read the clock wrong—but to no avail.

At first, I was panic-stricken. Then I realized there was nothing else to do other than gather myself and just get to the shala. There was no point in beating myself up about it and further delaying myself.

With lightning speed I get to the shala before 6am, trying to meld into the lobby full of timely students. What I did not manage was to sneak into the shala without notice.
Omnipresent as usual, Sharath eyes me suspiciously as I approach at his “One more!”

“What time are you?” Damn, his memory!

“4:30,” I say.

“Why are you late?”

I fess up, “I overslept,” I mumble. I expect the worst, his disappointment.

“You pay fine,” he says, I like to think, good-humouredly. I’m comforted.

I take my place in the back and try my best to put the mishap behind me and practice as best as I can. My body is cold, my limbs are stiff, my morning bulk uncooperative. Still, I plow on.

People say the second month breaks you down. And my body sure does feel it. Beyond the physicality of it, it feels that the practice is wearing away at my efforts to be “perfect” – the so-called ideal student that my borderline OCD behavior often desires. Today was a lesson. I’m far from perfect. Which is OK. Normal. Not everyday is going to be a good day. Something may falter from one day to the next, whether it’s my body, my drishti, my breath, my intention, my ego, or my ability to wake up to my alarm clocks, plural. I just have to deal with it.

And like Lewis Carroll’s character, I too must make my own way down the rabbit hole and accept whatever chaos may come of plunging into this wonderland called Mysore.

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