As I was working on my latest intensive, it struck me for the millionth time how difficult it is to put theory into practice. I mean, there is the idea of energy lines that I have been obsessed with for years. Extending energy in a pose; looking for the lines of energy when adjusting and cuing the pose. What does it mean to extend energy?
Well, it occurred to me as I was thinking about the energy lines in parigasana that there was an “off the mat” application to this concept. Okay, so I want to extend energy lines but what I really want to do is direct and focus energy in a particular way right? If I am able to direct and potentially amplify this energy line, then maybe, there is less energy dispersed to the wind, less energy wasted.
Projects versus Priorities
What is the difference between projects and priorities? Projects come and go but priorities should hold pretty steady. Priorities are the direction in which I want my energy lines to flow. Projects should keep me on that path. In my life right now, I have a number of projects; un-schooling, building a barn, Open House, new studio, Maya Tulum Retreat, Teacher Training, blogs, volunteering at Pine Street Inn, and cooking vegan food for friends and strangers, just to name a few. My priorities are simple; spending time with my family, teaching yoga to the best of my ability, and making the world a better place. Well, the last one sounds a bit daunting if not completely unattainable but I feel strongly that every action, every interaction should be directed in a particular way. I believe that my energy lines should follow the path of my priorities. If I am working on a project, I hope it will be following that path. Beryl Bender Birch calls this “right action”. Not right in the right and wrong sense, but right in the “direct your energy in a positive way” sense.
I can’t help but feel scattered at times, okay, most of the time. I am often sent out to the deck to do a yoga practice by my kids or my husband when I start to spin my wheels and drive them crazy. What is difficult for me is deciding what it is that I really need to do and what it is that I really don’t need to do at that moment or at all. What I do know is yoga practice is absolutely key for me. David Swenson once said, ” I never regret practicing, but I often regret not making the time to practice.” I agree.
How Yoga Practice Helps
All I know is that yoga practice, and that includes teaching for me, continues to be inspiration and, maybe more importantly, impetus for constant change, thought and questioning. I don’t think that I have any more answers than I did when I was younger, but I do think that I feel I am on a clearer and stronger path. My lines of energy are more defined and I, hopefully, am a bit less scattered to the wind. Yoga practice for me is like a tuning fork. It brings my energy back into balance and also helps to direct it a a particular way instead of in a thousand different directions. I can feel myself getting hyped up as I write. I am thinking about all the things I need to do today. I better fit in a practice……