I’ve been sort of avoiding my asana practice these last couple of days. Okay, maybe for the last couple of weeks. I mean I’ve been avoiding my regular home practice of yoga, which usually is a pleasing and daily occurrence. I’m not exactly sure why, although I’ve started to wonder. I’m still sitting in meditation in the mornings, but I haven’t felt like moving much.
Maybe it’s one of those practice plateaus, which I’ve hit before. Where things seem to level out or even stagnate for a bit, and then something new or vigorous emerges.
Today was a day for house cleaning and, because the sun was out, finally a day with a bit of gardening. The photo of the orchids on my blog comes from our yard, and inspired the name: Grow Yoga! The state of the garden usually reflects something about my inner state. (Right now, it’s a little chaotic and overgrown, but very green. The oxalis has almost completely taken over, again. As has the geranium. But the yerba buena looks great.)
And I was happily out there in the sunshine, thinking about how weeding is a kind of yoga and maybe this was my practice for the day….
But now that I’m blogging at the computer, still stubbornly resisting my yoga mat, I have to be honest about this. There is yoga in gardening, but gardening is not the same as yoga practice. Even when I throw in a few squats and forward folds as I pull the oxalis. It’s like when people say (and I’ve said this, too), “Gardening is my meditation.” Or, “Swimming is my meditation.”
Usually the person saying this is explaining why they don’t have a formal sitting practice. Meaning: A regular, dedicated time to do nothing except sit in meditation.
Based on my own experience, gardening, swimming, and many, many other activities can be meditative. And they are not the same as meditation practice. With continuity of practice, any activity can be done with meditative awareness. The clarity and presence found in continuous practice continues to grow. But this is not the same as simply sitting down on the cushion or bench or chair and letting go of doing anything but being here, practicing meditating.
So I’d have to say: Meditation is my meditation. And I guess that means that asana is asana. So now, to that mat.