Thursday, July 7, 2016

Quiet Aspirations

In yoga, we often do a pose called Aspiring Warrior. (It's also called by various other names, such as Reverse Warrior, Sun Warrior, etc.) In this posture, you stand with your legs wide apart, the toes of (say) your right foot pointing straight ahead and with your left foot turned in, your right knee bent at a 90 degree angle and your left straight. Your hips face forward--wow, okay, describing yoga poses is hard. Here's a picture:


It's a posture in which your legs are very strong--indeed, often very tired--and your upper body leans back and over with, hopefully, a surprising lightness. It's quite a lovely pose and fun to do, I think. Most of the time.

My quick image search revealed that most people call this Reverse Warrior, and that's the name that it had in most of my classes, too. My current teachers call it Aspiring Warrior, however, and I've come to like that; it shifts the focus away from the militant connotations of the Warrior and into the idea of aspiration, of yearning and seeking, that the posture entails.

A few weeks ago, as we were moving into the pose, my teacher asked, "What is your aspiration?" It was a question that she'd asked before, but it struck me differently on that day, six weeks into summer. What is my aspiration? At that moment, it hit me: It wasn't to publish more, or be more, or anything like that. It was to live my life--specifically, my life this summer. To live the summer. To be here, to feel it, experience it, enjoy it. To live more.

So I've done a few things. When I'm not too tired (and this flexibility, in itself, is quite remarkable for me), I get up early and meditate on the deck for half an hour, with the sun already high at 6 am and the birds clattering all over the forest. Then I read until the house wakes up, maybe with a cup of tea in my new birch-bark teacup from the recent craft festival.

The deck, with zafu

My cup. Isn't it pretty?

That's one thing. I'm trying some other stuff, too: spending more time on the deck at all times of day, taking naps when I can, doing fun outdoors things with my son (and sometimes even my husband!). Paying attention. Being there.

I have no illusions, really, about the likelihood of my keeping all of this up come fall. But it would be nice to borrow a few summertime habits during the semester. And maybe, simply by making them habits, I'll be able to do that.


What Now? said...

A lovely post and lovely aspiration! This has been my aspiration for this summer as well, but I haven't been great at following up with it.

undine said...

Seconding What Now?'s comment. And the pictures are a mini-vacation for anyone visiting your blog.

Good Enough Woman said...

The deck is lovely, and, as a resident of CA, I envy the green leafy trees! Feeling inspired to get up early sometimes . . . maybe.