In last week's comments I said that one of the things that I like about my new exercise "regimen" is that it frees my yoga practice up to be more-than-exercise. But I've been thinking...it wasn't that long ago (seven years ago, in my pre-teaching days) that it was just a part of the routine, included to help soften the edges of high-stress workdays and stretch out a tense body.
Sometimes I miss those simpler times, when awareness of the texts or history or different schools of yoga didn't seem to matter that much. Every Thursday evening, I put on my stretchies, gathered up my mat and water bottle and headed off to class for 1 1/2 hours of calming and strengthening. It was a temporary escape from my Washington DC life to put myself in the hands of a strong, experienced teacher, where all I had to do was follow directions and keep my mind clear.
I manage to take a class here and there (it's not easy being one of the few teachers in town), but never with that beginner's mind. I'm always collecting ideas for my own classes or sneaking peaks at adjustments or memorizing clever sequences--I know, I know, mind my own business--but, as they say, once a teacher, always a teacher. And, while I cherish my level of understanding, sometimes I wish it could just be easy again.
I guess that's the trade-off when you decide to pursue a beloved hobby as a profession. Your relationship to the activity changes and it can never be "just" something you do in your free time. You know too much.
Maybe that's what is so nice about the biking and running and swimming. It's "just" exercise. Of course I've looked at various training sites and read about strategies to improve, but it's still just something I slip into the schedule for an hour or so five times a week. No great thoughts, no strong emotion, just some sweat and work.
That would be a good summer goal--to make yoga easy again. Just do the asana and leave the rest for the experts (or for when I'm teaching). Challenging. Appealing. Possible? We'll see...