As the old saying goes, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.”

I found myself thinking about that line — among other things — as I laid in bed one recent morning. Actually, the previous sentence leaves out some important details.

The morning in question was the day following Pranakriya’s “Understanding the Bhagavad Gita” with Yoganand — aka five days of having my mind and body heated in the pressure cooker of Sankhya philosophy.

The training left me filled with tamas energy. (Hey look, I retained something from the program!) Or to put it in layman’s terms: five days of deep yoga philosophy and deeper yoga practice coupled with loooooooonnnnnnggggg sessions sitting on the floor left me bone tired.

Even so, after a little nudging I got up, set down my meditation cushion and began my morning practice — this time devoting all my actions, at least on the surface, to Purusha.

Eventually that clarity of mind gave way to discomfort, which fortunately was merely physical discomfort. (The whole sitting on the floor thing.)

As I began some gentle movements after stillness and pranayama sounds began filling the room. These weren’t the usual oohs and ahhh — the pleasurable melody that springs from a good yoga class. No, appropriately enough it was Halloween morning and the sounds coming from within me could have been used as a backing soundtrack to a zombie movie.

Like the undead, I kept shuffling along moving slowly from posture to posture — if you can call it that — taking time to rest (and groan) along the way.

Part of me wishes I could say this practice resulted in some great breakthrough, but that wouldn’t be the full truth. Considering how my brain works, once the light bulb went off and I realized it would be a good “bloggable moment” my mind fell out of Buddhi as it literally began creating a story.

That said, before I drifted completely into story I realized that the practice is the practice. Sometimes it will flow like a well-oiled machine and others it will lurk along like a zombie. The wisdom is knowing that good or bad really don’t matter all that much, although we can often learn a lot more about ourselves on the days when things are less-than perfect.

The act of the practice is what counts.

How do we get closer to spirit?

Practice.


Mike Cardillo, RYT-200, lives and teaches yoga in Connecticut. He believes yoga is more than simply making shapes with your body.

He can be reached at yogawithmikeCT [at] gmail.com or found at Facebook.com/yogawithmikeCT