Attachment to my plans

IMG_7889Sunday night, I decided that I would go to yoga three times this week—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. The days between I would swim.

This was my plan.

My plan worked well enough Monday morning—yoga in the morning; songwriting in the afternoon.

Tuesday morning, I could not get out of bed when my alarm went off. The pool was only open from 6-7am, and my body was not having it.

Plan malfunctioning began.

So I decided to let it go for the day.

No swimming; songwriting in the morning, a drive to Flagstaff to visit a dear friend and her daughter in the afternoon; impromptu songwriting with daughter to surprise mom before heading home.

Wednesday morning, I arrived at yoga to find everyone standing outside the studio’s locked doors. The teacher had not arrived or there was a mix-up scheduling a replacement for someone who was out of town.

I sat next to a friend, thinking that I would feel so disappointed if I did not practice. I thought about letting it go, practicing non-attachment, but I realized that this was one plan I did not want to let go of.

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Yoga is a place where I feel safe. My fear is diminished; I can breath deeply. The women in my yoga community tell me they are proud of me, that I am brave.

Most of the time I don’t feel brave, but when I practice yoga I feel strength rising from a place inside of me that I didn’t know was there.

So I suggested that we practice in a park in the shade somewhere nearby. I offered to practice teaching. People responded. An older woman said she was a yoga teacher and would teach the class.

And I found Aparigraha return. It was fine for someone else to teach. She wanted to. I did not need to insist on practicing. I just wanted to practice yoga and be among yogis.

We headed caravan style to Granite Creek Park and found a relatively flat spot in the shade of enormous cottonwood trees. I could feel my body settling. I could feel my breath.

Granite Creek Park cottonwood trees

And we practiced. We laughed and giggled. Exchanged smiles and kind words.

When I stood in tree pose, I looked straight ahead at a small tree in the distance. A bit closer were two large cottonwoods framing the small tree between them. I watched the tree intently. And I felt more poise and strength than I ever have in a studio. I could stand like a cottonwood tree forever.

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As we prepared for savasana, I offered to sing a song I had written about creating a moment where you feel free. I sang and felt my voice blend with the wind.

We parted ways after exchanging emails and telephone numbers.

As I drove away, I felt a moment of freedom. I felt peaceful.

I knew it was fleeting, but I didn’t mind.

It is the practice that counts, and I was practicing.

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