Competitive edge

Another Saturday, which means some time to blog! “Slept in” this morning…meaning I let my body wake up in its own, so I think it was about 7:30 haha. But still, It was nice to wake up after the sun! Made some breakfast, coffee, and proceeded to do some laundry. The machine was occupied all morning so it was some old fashioned bucket washing. Jessie and I are moving out of our current place tomorrow (rent is up and it is booked by someone else) so I wanted to get a head start on cleaning and packing up. My new room is in Saraswati’s old house ( Sharath’s mom, Guruji’s daughter) and its literally 10 feet from the shala, talk about an easy commute! Ill post pics on Facebook when I move in! Not sure whether I’m gonna rickshaw all my stuff there or just walk it, it seems silly to rickshaw for 30 seconds. Yesterday after led, I treated myself to banana-xpcinnamon pancakes at Anokhi, had Sanskrit class, then went to the pool with some friends for the day. It was so nice to swim and just lay in the sun. Also, to help even out my crazy tan lines I got from the Dassara parade! Then we “splurged” on the best meal I have had since being here. The best Indian food I’ve ever had, I was stuffed!

Things are have still been going really well, practice has been good but very challenging. He’s really working me in my backbends…last time I wrote I was just touching my heels with my fingertips..now he has me full on holding onto my ankles!! It’s a really bizarre feeling. Is not painful, just intense. He also gave me the first posture in the second series, Pasasana, to start this xo,ing week! So I’m grateful for the weekend because it means a break from the crazy backbends. Friday is led class with is only three backbends from the ground, Saturday is rest, Sunday is another led class, AND Monday is a Moon day so we get an extra rest day. So, my back is very grateful! Things had been going so well, I knew I would have a low moment eventually…and I did. Even though I have accomplished so much since being here, I found that my competitive edge was coming back. I was an athlete for a huge part of my life, being competitive has always been in my nature. Being here around so many practitioners at so many levels, it’s easy to get caught up the the asana part of the practice. When I get to the shala during the week, it’s around the time this man is half way through the THIRD series…meaning he can compete the 1st and 2nd no problem. As I was watching him, I was just straight up jealous and felt really disappointed that I wasn’t at that level. That whole practice on Thursday negative thoughts consumed me, again I was really beating myself up. Then afterward at the coconut stand a gal was talking about how Sharath told her to come to the led intermediate class on Sunday…the snide voice in my head was saying “good for you, want a cookie???” I got back to my apartment and literally passed out for four hours, and I realized that’s exactly what i needed.

I realized I was starting to be the student I never wanted to be, a student obsessed with the physical practice. Instead of being grateful for what I have accomplished, I was angry with how much I needed to get done. I ignored the fact that for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel self conscious, my eating was normal, and I was HAPPY. Which is why I came!! So yes, I may have a lot of work ahead of me, but I have accomplished so much already in such a short period of time, and THAT I am proud of. Sharath has to constantly remind us that asana is just a tiny part of the practice, it’s a part of the foundation, and to not get caught up in it. Each day before I start my practice I tell myself to be grateful for what my body can do today, and that’s how I truly feel writing this. What I love so much about the Ashtanga system is that because you work 6 days a week at it, you see growth. Now, this growth can either feed your ego or just simply give you confidence in yourself. And that’s what it has done for me, I feel like i finally have my confidence back. And with this confidence I know everything works out, and with that I feel at peace. And that’s why we practice, to get these moments of reassurance, knowing that attaining inner peace is possible. For the first time, I think ever, I can confidently say that I am happy with who I am, where I am, what I have, and where I am going. THAT is enough to keep me practicing.

So as I finish this up, I realized that if I hadn’t extended my stay here,I would only have two more weeks!! SO GLAD I’m staying an extra month haha. For those of you celebrating Halloween, enjoy but be safe! To my family and friends, I love you all and miss you a lot. But know, I am happy,safe, and healthy 🙂 XO

Ally

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One thought on “Competitive edge

  1. Good lessons that you are learning. Our society is way too focused on getting to the “end” so we can win. If you don’t enjoy the journey to each end, you’re wasting a whole lot of your life. You have many, many years to get to level 3. Enjoy the practice it takes to get there. xo

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