Day Three in Paradise (with a Hurricane)

We’ve had a lot of this…

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because of this…

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Hurricane Ana has been leisurely rolling across the islands
without any urgency whatsoever.
But has that dampened my spirits?

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Not one bit.

Perhaps it’s due to the drought and the dry, parched earth back home, but I have enjoyed every single drop of this rain.  I’m sure it helps that it’s been an enjoyable rain though – steady and soft.  It hasn’t been a downpour, by any means, and the winds have been light, if nonexistent.  Not what I would expect with a Category 1 Hurricane, but I guess the Big Island is giving us a fair bit of protection.  All through the night I could hear the rumbling of distant thunder but it was quiet and comforting.

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The weather is having an unexpected and profound effect on my practice.  It’s almost as if it’s another, silent instructor, working its magic in subtle and mysterious ways.

For instance, a really interesting thing happened yesterday afternoon during our advanced flow practice.  Typically, I have a relentless dialogue running in my mind that goes something like this:  “This is hard.  I’m tired.  Five hours of yoga per day is a lot.  I think I might be sore.  Or maybe I’m going to get sore and then I won’t be able to practice.  Why am I doing this?  I want to stop.  Is he crazy?  Another chaturanga???  I don’t want to!” and on and on.

But yesterday something really odd happened somewhere amidst the Surya A’s and Surya B’s.  It was like a switch in my brain flipped and the complainer part of my brain just shut up.  Maybe it finally got beaten down, but it was like the vrtti’s (fluctuations) regarding practice just ceased to be.  Of course, the chatter didn’t stop, but it was as if my mind decided to abandon its current course (for lack of effect?) and just went off to hold other dialogues and contemplate other matters.

The result was nothing short of beautiful.  It was me, my breath and the movement.  Everything working in one glorious, rhythmic harmony.  The sense of peace was so profound and deep I’m not sure I’ve ever felt anything like it on the mat before.  Or off, for that matter.  It was as if the world just faded away and I was able to function from an intuitive knowledge deep within.

This is just one of the many luxuries of giving yourself the time and space to deepen your practice, I suppose.  There is nothing like a yoga retreat with a quality instructor to help you access parts of yourself that typically remain hidden and obscure.  Again, I feel so incredibly grateful and blessed to be here.

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