There is something so soothing and calming about practicing in a big, empty house with no one else around. Somehow I feel like I have permission to mess up or laugh or just take things a bit easier. My practice, while still challenging and profound has begun to take on a new shape, a more joyous and lighthearted feeling.
In the past week I’ve practiced, on my own, to the sound of wind and rain, in Big Sur, Portland, and Seattle. Each time I’ve been fortunate enough to practice near a window with views of trees and water (ocean or lakes, doesn’t matter to me, I just love water). I’ve taught a little bit, mostly to family and friends we’ve visited along the way and have enjoyed every moment of it. Leaving my teacher and the students from my classes I came to know over five years has been hard and I will always hold a special place in my heart for them. However, there is always room to meet knew people and allow new students to touch my heart.
The biggest change in my practice in the last week has been my new found love of chanting alone before and after practice. The opening chant in Ashtanga I have become fairly familiar with through practicing in class but I was never around long enough to learn the closing chant so this week I am teaching it to myself. Chanting before and after practice makes everything feel a bit more complete and reminds me that this practice moves beyond my time on the mat and helps to shape me into the person I am both mentally and spiritually.
This time next week I will be on airplane to the island of Taveuni, Fiji. I am very much looking forward to arriving, rolling out my mat somewhere on the beach and chanting to the ocean.Learning to Practice Alone,