Day 136 – indulgence

Indulgence. Why is dodging my practice an indulgence? Shouldn’t my practice BE the indulgence? Am I getting too regimented in my daily sadhana? When I love a song, I am very careful not to listen to it too much for fear that I will get sick of it. Right when I want to hear it the most, I make sure I play something else so that when I do hear it I get more excited. Should I be treating my practice the same way? I have never been one to do the same asanas every day- no two classes I have taught have ever been the same, so now that I have a list of pranayama and asana to do, by the time I get to free flow with some vinyasa, I am kind of over it and just want to sit for the meditation. Then when I finally sit, I am barely lasting more than fifteen minutes before my mind just chatters me out of the room and I stand up and walk away. So two hours after I first approach the mat I feel like, “Phew, now that’s done I can get on with my day.” It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, or look forward to it, but I am worried that my meditation is no longer the highlight of my day, but rather this unattainable goal that seems, still, so far out of my reach. Our teacher in Rishikesh said that if we are trying to meditate, it is not meditation. He says the meditation just happens and everything before that is just set up. Well, I don’t want to get sick of the set up or I may never get there so today I am ‘indulging’ and I am skipping my whole practice. Instead, I am going to get a coffee.

Two hazelnut caps later and I can be seen in stuffing my face with chocolate brownie covered in chocolate ice cream and chocolate sauce. It is divine. I think I am having a foodgasm. THIS is indulgence, I think. So how can I make my practice a little more like chocolate sauce and a little less like cleaning up for the chocolate sauce that is nowhere in sight?

I spend the day at the market. It is hot and exhausting and I feel flighty, distracted, and all over the place. It probably has to do with the fact that I ate chocolate in three forms for breakfast, so no doubt I am still riding on that sugar high. I try to focus my energy on the task at hand but my mind is as colourful as this bazaar I am in. The flowing saris, scarves and skirts flick in and around my head, perfectly matching what is going on inside it. I am at the Bapu Bazaar in the centre of Jaipur, the cheapest place to get clothing and textiles. There are small handicrafts and stalls selling spices. Around the corner, the market becomes the Johri Bazaar and is the best place to buy silver with gemstones by the gram. There is some seriously beautiful stuff in this market and I only regret that I haven’t brought more money with me. When we stop for a lassi and a samosa, I am excited to drink something out of a clay cup and try not to think about how unhealthy I have been today. It’s like my food habits are matching my yoga habits. I skipped practice, so now I am just going crazy?

This evening, Rup is planning to take me out so I have only half an hour to myself. As I get dressed I decide to stop and sit for meditation. Only five minutes, I tell myself. What is an extra five minutes? It takes five minutes just to quieten down the mind and focus, but once I am there, it is beautiful. It is delicious and it is pure indulgence. When I open my eyes and step out, it was only 15 minutes. The two and a half hours of asana, pranayama and preparation does help most days but indulging in the silence and stillness is the most important part. Without it I am just a crazy hippy running around on a sugar high.