Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Soloing on a back porch

Monday morning I found myself on my brother’s terra cotta tiled back porch in Santa Monica, CA. By the time I had finished with some early work, two of the household were out, two others still asleep. I cleared some patio furniture to the sides and began the sequence of sun salutations that I’ve repeated more than a few times. The temperature was pleasantly cool, heavy with ocean.

As the salutations progressed, I re-re-re-discovered mindfulness in solo practice. I love my daily practice in studios, my twice-a-week teaching, but I’m always surprised at how much more is available to be felt and seen by a quiet mind alone. Gazing across fingertips in Warrior poses, seeing the ground in Plank, feeling joints and tendons and muscles in my hands connected to the earth in Dog poses. Reopening energy pathways in lunges and backbends. Integrating mind and body in balances. And yet my self-hungry mind looked for glimpses of reflections in window panes, of sweat drops falling on mortar between the patio tiles.

When I finished the practice, I grabbed a patio chair cushion, arranged my legs and hands, and sat.

And saw.

And saw the seeing.

I bow in gratitude to all who cared and preserved and taught these things across the course of their centuries to mine.