A Different Trip on the Yoga Mat

I’m going to get my blogging in under the wire today. I’m typing on my old Alphasmart. It’s fun to play with this thing. The keys are very loud so there’s lots of clicking. Typing on the Alphasmart inspires me to spill without thinking because that’s what I’m used to doing with it. I type very fast and don’t make any paragraph breaks. I ignore sentence structure, spelling, etc. Just spill. Spilling doesn't make for an inspiring read, but it's a helpful process for writing on occasion. I'll finish up the bare bones of this post on the Alphasmart and edit in Wordpress. Moving on - This post is about yoga class.

I was thinking about how different it feels to be on the yoga mat on a different day. Last week I was completely blissed out for the entire class. I was on the mat and I was happy and in love with being on the mat and being in my body.

This week my brain was all over the place. I was visiting the other students on their mats – in my head only – I could not stay put and keep myself to myself. I wandered all over the room and spent a good portion of the class on the ceiling.

Last week during Savasana I got lost in the music. No. That's not right. The music felt like it was pouring into my body. Like it was filling me up and pouring out of me as if I were an empty glass and the music was the water overflowing.

This week I was thinking about the book and the film Sheltering Sky. I haven’t picked up that book in several years and I saw the film ... It has to be a minimum of a decade ago.

So odd that Sheltering Sky would pop into my head. For the life of me I can’t figure out why. It’s such a sad story. I'm not sad, but I saw the scenes play out in my head as if I were watching them again for the first time.

Clearly there are some images and themes from the story that mean something to me. What are they?

Getting lost in a different culture. Getting lost and separated. Ego – lots about ego. Thinking you are open-minded and learning you are not. Thinking you are special and learning you are just a man like every other man. Letting yourself be reduced, diminished, changed, burned away. Getting lost in sensation. Leaving yourself behind. Seeking salvation. Other worldly experiences. Slipping back into your life and pretending you are the same as you were. That’s the sad part. Realizing you were always lost and you still are.

I suppose I should add Sheltering Sky to my reading list and explore it some more.

But here's my conundrum: Why did I have such a different experience on the mat? The experience of Savasana last week was a kiss on the forehead from Kuan Yin. This week, I get Sheltering Sky. I suppose next week will be...next week.

How remarkable - the same mat, the same class, the same me – different week, completely different Savasana.

So maybe I wasn’t the same me. Maybe there’s never a same me. Only the me of the moment - who has all the same predilections and programming and tapes, but in the moment all those tapes are playing a different song or a different film in my head.

And my struggle is to get my mind on the mat with my body and my breath. Whoever I may be in the moment. In spite of being filled up with books and films and dreams and desires and self consciousness and desire. Yes. Desire twice over. And longing, yearning, impatience, self-righteousness, anger, bliss, love, happiness, questions, questions, questions. More questions. And peace with all of it? No. That's the process. There's no end to the process. No end to practice. That's the good news. Different day, different trip.