I have once again fallen off the wagon! Here's the ugly truth: My desire for sleep as been stronger than my desire for enlightenment over the past couple of days.
My teacher, Ed Zadlo posted this on Facebook: "The more one fails in life, the more one needs to love and be gentle with one's self." Shambhavi --- That's exactly what I needed to hear.
I'm going to try to remember to love and be gentle with myself because honestly, I tend to mentally beat myself up when I feel like I'm not living up to my own self imposed impossibly high standards. Every failure is an opportunity to learn something and this "falling off the wagon" so to speak is no exception.
I sometimes find myself wondering if having a daily sadhana is doing me much good. After all, I still get angry and impatient at times. I still struggle with this monkey mind, I haven't had any "spiritual awakening" (at least none that I'm aware of) so I wonder, what impact all this yoga/meditation is having on my life.
Having not done any real practice over the last two days I can tell you for sure that it has a huge impact on my life. My mind has been running out of control. It's like when the teacher steps out of the class room for a minute and the students turn into wild animals. That's what's been happening. This chaos has made it difficult to focus. My energy level is way down too. I'm sleeping more but having much less energy. It's like all my energy is being consumed by my restless mind. Physically, I also notice the difference when I haven't done a full yoga practice. My joints ache, my back feels tight. And I found myself sitting on the sofa watching, of all things, Kirsty Ally's big life (I don't really know the name of the show) while eating Doritos!
Wow! The slope is really slippery! So back to the tool box I go. Dropping the Doritos in the trash. Sorry Kirsty Ally - someone should introduce that woman to yoga!
If I were my own student what would I recommend? The first thing I'd recommend is a few sun salutations (http://www.yogasite.com/sunsalute.htm). This dynamic sequence will get the heart pumping and generate some heat in the body. After a vigorous yoga practice I would recommend Alternate nostril breathing before chanting the Gayatri 108x and sitting for meditation as long as possible.
I think it's safe to say that at times we all fall off the wagon with our practice for one reason or another. The key is to get back to the practice quickly. Keep trying no matter how many times you stray from it. Keep coming back to the practice. When you find it difficult to get back to your practice on your own the support of a spiritual community can be quite helpful. It's one of the major reasons why I still take group yoga classes. The support of the group gives me the incentive to keep practicing on my own. When I start to fade, I go to a class and my resolve is strengthened.
Come practice with me on Sunday morning 9am at Seva Retreat. (http://www.sevaretreat.com/) - Let's create a spiritual community to support one another on this yoga journey.