When I was younger and felt strongly about mastering each Asana (posture) I encountered; I went for getting the postures “right” at the expense of pleasure I could have on the way.
Don’t get me wrong. Certainly, I enjoyed practicing Yoga. I still enjoy it. But I didn’t experience it as pleasure exactly.
I think, as westerners, we go for efficiency in our movement. We look for the shortest distance to attaining our goal. We often go for achieving the end result without really giving ourselves an experience of the satisfaction we can find in getting there.
Somewhere along the way I came to understand that pleasure of movement is for many of us a scarce experience. My friend, tennis coach Art Carrington, explains it well. Art points out that while many players work diligently and effectively to get a great serve few enjoy the phenomenal and pleasurable feeling of a truly rhythmic racket swing.
Similarly, pleasure in Yoga comes from living at my own speed, rhythm and texture as I move into, out of and within poses.
These days the result of entering into any one assana is often a surprise. I don’t know exactly where I will end up in any given pose on any given day. I am not even sure of what postures I will find myself entering moment to moment. Maybe I will find myself deep inside of a posture riding edges I have never met before. Or, maybe I will hang out in the very “bud” or beginning of asana, choosing to explore an interesting nuance I have discovered.
The point is that I have discovered life’s pleasure is very much related to honoring our own pacing and inclinations. Are there places you are finding simple pleasure in your own life?