Yoga Second Chances

I’m experiencing an intense period of “refurbishment”, as they say over here. We’ve got the routine going on now, and while 5 year old is at school (I swear she is already speaking with a British lilt to her voice – so odd to hear) I am at yoga class, between 4-5 times a week. It’s an intense practice to be doing that often, but that’s sort of the point…I am intrigued to have this opportunity to see what changes it brings about. Today on the mat, I happily had this thought: I am getting my butt handed to me by this practice, in the best possible way.

The Monday morning class has a bad ass for an instructor. Her soundtrack includes Morrissey (when, I ask you, have you ever heard Morrissey in a yoga class?!), Ofra Haza, Prince, and Dead Can Dance. She’s challenging. I went yesterday with a bit of trepidation, as the Monday before I tweaked my back in her class. (I’ve got a history of back trouble, which is one of the many reasons I do yoga.) I know how it happened, I was overenthusiastic and went too quickly from intense backbend to forward bend. Been there, done that, lesson apparently not learned yet. So yesterday, I was very tuned in to staying aligned, keeping uddiyana bandha in check, all that. I’ll be damned if I am going to mess up this London experience with a back episode! And I realized, we were doing the exact same practice as last week (to the same soundtrack, hooray). Savvy Cowgirl Yoga blog readers may remember this exact same thing happened to me at Jivamukti NYC last fall. And I immediately thought: this is my second chance. When we came to the part where I tweaked my back, I modified and backed off. I was grateful for the opportunity to do it again mindfully.
I was thinking more about this…the practice of yoga offers many second chances. And third and fourth and so on. There is always another opportunity to do that pose, to be more mindful, to expand your yoga repertoire. Even the exact same practice can be a completely different experience one week later. It’s amazing, if you ask me. Every time you come to the mat is another chance to grow. Even if it’s the same teacher, same soundtrack, same poses. And quite possibly, you are being presented with that second chance for a reason; I know I was. Namaste.
I love this picture of me preparing for virasana, by my friend Larry Stanley. We spend a lot of time in virasana at Jivamukti.