When I look at my calendar for October it makes my eyes grow a little wider and my lips purse not comprehending how I will make it through the end of the month. But to be fair, since I’ve been teaching, once I figure out my schedule each month, I have the same reaction. The calendar is peppered with classes to teach, when I’ve committed to get my practice in, family gatherings, camping trips, choir concerts at my husband’s school, and other various appointments, birthdays, and obligations.
For years as an actor, when my husband and I would talk about planning for the weeks ahead the conversation was always about what we would like to happen unless something popped for me, whether it be getting a contract for the next show, or booking a print shoot, or having to attend an audition I could absolutely not miss. Everyday was different, basically unscheduled, and full of promise for what it might hold.
And it was incredibly hard to make a commitment. You didn’t want to have to back out on time with friends or family if something changed, so I was always a bit skittish about saying I would be available for certain things if it was a month or two in the future. I would always joke that if it was beyond 2 weeks away it was beyond my comprehension of what I was available to do.
So now looking at how scheduled my life has become I get a bit overwhelmed. I actually know where I will be a month from now. How strange and grown up of me. But thankfully it’s not the same exact schedule everyday – that would not work. I like waking up not knowing precisely what the day holds. It keeps me curious and present. It helps me wipe the slate clean each morning and figure out how to balance teaching, practicing, my writing job, and keeping my home and family in one piece.
But I believe curiosity is really what most people are missing in their lives. As adults we have become complacent with what life holds within each day. We expect to wake up, go to work, see the same people, do the same thing, watch the same TV shows, and eat the same food day after day with little variation. What we don’t realize is that none of us really knows what is going to happen day after day. No matter how scheduled you are, or organized, the day holds unlimited potential. Actually, each moment holds unlimited potential, if you are truly present and engaged.
This is why I encourage my students, especially the ones that have been practicing for years, to become curious and interested in their postures. If you always expect the same thing to happen – it will. But if you’re open to being curious about whether the body has changed you’re opening yourself and your practice up to something that will continually progress over time. No, you may not be in standing splits in Standing Bow Pulling Pose yet, but the journey of achieving this is far more interesting than complacently holding the posture where you are comfortable, no longer kicking higher or stretching forward more. Finding the balance is one thing, going further past what you think is possible, or at least being open to it, is something else entirely.
If you are curious about what may happen throughout your 90-minute practice in the hot room, I guarantee you won’t have time to dread a certain posture. You’ll be too busy exploring where the body is today. This not only keeps your present in the room and stopping the body from just going through the series on auto pilot, but it makes this practice fun and exciting.
So as you go through the series this week keep an open mind about what you can achieve in the hot room. What if this is the week you start to kick out in Standing Head to Knee, or come up off the heel in Toe Stand? What if it’s possible that you actually touch your head to your feet in Final Stretching? Why not? As soon as you become curious about what your body can achieve instead of limiting it with what you predict your practice will look like you will open your mind to the unlimited potential not only of what you can achieve in the hot room, but what you can achieve in every facet of your life. Stay curious, interested, and get rid of any word associated with “can’t.” Your life is waiting right outside the studio doors.
If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy reading: