At some point on our yoga journey — possibly now, given you’re reading this book — we find we’re ready to take responsibility for our own practice.
Forty Days of Yoga: Breaking Down the Barriers to a Home Practice by Kara-Leah Grant.
Aum gam ganapataye namah
This is a mantra from the Upanishads, which is recommended before the beginning of any new venture so that Ganesh removes any impediments to its success. I fell in love with mantra meditation with a version of this mantra a few weeks ago, so when today’s home practice hit the rails, I googled Ganesh mantras and chanted it 56 times to clear the impediments to my home practice.
Let me back up.
Today was an awesome New Years Day. While still feeling under the weather, lazy, tired, on my ladies holiday and possibly ever so slightly hungover, I met with my weekly Mysore Club at a friend’s house. My practice was not so strong, I needed the wall for backbends and inversions, the deep Ashtanga twists made me feel ill, and I just wanted to stop and sleep and drink water. In fact, I had 2 sips of water, which I never do and is a giant no-no. But I showed up and did the practice. And then had a long, funny lunch with my friends.
When I got home and chatted with B, it was not lost on me that I owed myself 30 more minutes on the mat, not to mention this blog post. Ugh. 90 minutes of yoga and now more.
And even though I got out my props and mat, I hit the rails almost immediately by choosing a yoga journal practice from Amazon. Some days this might be just the thing to jump start a home practice, but I was supposed to be confronting myself?! Practicing without a guide. Yet I did about 20 minutes of what felt like the standing postures of the Ashtanga until I felt thoroughly irritated. I started and stopped three different asana series (hamstring stretches with straps, backbends, and hips). And then took pictures of my feet, the cats, my face.
In the end, the recognition that I wanted to feel more relaxed, more serene, more grounded, as well as more prepared for this challenge got me up on two blocks, feet in baddha konasana, chanting a mantra to ganesh and using my moola bandha. 56 mantra chants later, I opened my eyes, 10 or 15 minutes had passed, and I was done.
I think we’re off to a bumpy start to the challenge, but a great year nonetheless. Welcome, 2014.