I was stood up again this morning for yoga practice.
I’m beginning to wonder if all yogis except for Ashtangis are flakey. When I tell my non-yogi friends that I was stood up, they shrug and say something like, “Yogis are flakey.”
But we aren’t flakey! Not all of us, anyways. Maybe it’s something in the nature of Ashtanga that keeps us on track. Something in the discipline of the practice itself that only attracts those that are willing to stick to commitments. Or is it the other way around? Does the practice shape us? Do we come in as the stereotypical flakey yogi and then ditch the heart-open-spirals mumbo jumbo, bring our heads out of the clouds, and get down to the bare bones of 99% practice?
Eh, whatever. My point is… out of all the folks that have solicited me as a practice partner over the years, only one of them was not flakey. And that one person was the only one who had practiced Mysore Ashtanga for a significant period of time, the only one who practiced Ashtanga exclusively. The others have been what I like to call “cafeteria yogis.” Which is to say that they choose little parts of each gurus’ teachings to come up with the yoga that they believe fits them best: “I practice vinyasa yoga similar to Ashtanga, but with the heart principles of Anusara and the alignment influences of Iyengar. But sometimes I like Bikram too.”
Wow. That does sound flakey, doesn’t it?
I have a friend who claims to love Ashtanga yoga. But, she tells me, she dislikes the fact that in order to see any progress in the poses, she has to practice it regularly. Which is to say that she would love it so much more if she could practice any time she wants to, without the limitations of the body. Without the discipline of a daily practice. Which is a very large part of the Ashtanga practice… so then what do you have?
V and I were discussing this earlier today. “I think we sometimes forget the sheer amount of dedication we have for the practice”
And I think she’s right. But I also feel that beyond the dedication to the practice, when you set up a “date” to practice with someone, you have a commitment to that person, as well as to the practice.
Perhaps the early morning start time has something to do with it. If someone was to ask me, “Can I practice with you? I have such a hard time finding the discipline to practice on my own,” And I was to answer, “Yes, of course! Meet me at 8 a.m. (or 9 or 10 or whatever),” perhaps then they would show. Sorry. Can’t. You want to practice with me… you want to mooch off of my discipline to my own practice… I start at 6 a.m. at the latest. Take it or leave it.
Sigh. I don’t know why I even bother.