Actually, there is no “bad” day of practice, because I always feel better afterwards. Even a bit of practice makes a hard day of work feel a bit easier.
I kept true to my promise to myself and went to practice today. It was not a “bad” day, though it was not a stellar, “Practice Rocked!” day either. I felt weak or unsteady in some poses, but in a strange way felt okay with that. Just focused on my breath, listening to the ache in my left shoulder. In some poses the ache was quiet, and then in others, it awakened a bit. I didn’t try to push it away, just listened to it and only pushed my body as far as it wanted to go. I think that honoring the limits of my body and accepting that was in itself a kind of practice that settled some part of me. Finally I was OK with this, and was just grateful for what I could attain in the poses.
Really, all being said, there may be no such thing as “attainment” in the poses. I’ve been reading Maehle’s book on the Intermediate series and am reminded again that yoga isn’t about achieving a certain posture, but reaching a state of mind.
Went through Primary…stepping back instead of jumping back and through, taking my time to lengthen the breath rather than reach. After Setu Bandhasana, I settled into Pashasana. David came by to do some adjustments, and through the grace of the divine, I was able to remain grounded on the heels without falling back. I think I was able to do this by focusing on the axis of the spine, maintaining that center of gravity through the bandhas. Jumped through to Krounchasana, then Shalabasana. Finally there was Bhekasana…was able to bring heels to the floor. There was a sense of surrender…and in fact, the sense of surrender felt prominent throughout the entire practice.
Paradoxically, surrendering myself to a “mediocre” practice led to a sense of deep fulfillment. I just felt happy where I was at, despite certain limitations and the varying ache in the shoulder. I was just happy to practice.