How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?…

…Practice, practice, practice!

Whenever I heard that old joke, I would give a rueful chuckle since as a musician I practiced for hour upon hour! Not only musicians but also athletes, dancers, artists in all fields, even doctors (as in the practice of medicine) and lawyers (as in the practice of law) practice, practice, practice! And certainly yoga is all about practice.  There is never an end to the practice of yoga because perfection in yoga as in these other practices just isn’t possible.

So how about  life?

Are we “practicing” life?

Is it a constant practice?

I heard something read in my yoga class (while sweating, stretching and strengthening within a inch of my life 🙂 )that caused me  to ponder these questions.  The piece spoke of yoga as being a “work in” rather than a “work out”.  As we go inward we open up spaces that have been protected by armor we placed there just to get through everyday life.  We find a place of vulnerability and strength and then  begin removing the armor piece by piece.

The piece then went on to talk about what can happen when we begin removing this armor. Sometimes the stuff we’ve been protecting comes up and it feels like we are regressing into old emotions, thoughts or behaviors. It can feel frightening and somewhat frustrating as we say to ourselves, “I thought I’d worked out that old issue a long time ago”. But it is part of a deeper process. Sort of like healing crises in medicine as when a fever is breaking or a wound is draining. I had an acupuncturist who used to always say, “When you’re taking out the garbage, it stinks”.

I have a friend who compares opening up these places as “peeling the onion”. We peel away one layer and yet there’s still another layer to be peeled :)! But think about what happens when we peel away the last bit of that onion…there’s no more onion…it’s just air.

Perhaps we only stop “practicing life” when it’s no longer there. Then, perhaps, we too are air or, as I prefer to imagine, we are spirit beings vibrating at a higher level.

But until that time we… practice, practice, practice :)!

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuone at Free Digital Photos. net

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuone at Free Digital Photos. net

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