Expand and Contract
For those of us who were able to join Thom Knoles in Sedona on the rounding retreat, we got to experience an expanded version of our practice.
As we all reintegrated back into our regular day-to-day, many of us were able to maintain some of that expansion in the form of waking up at sunrise to do Surya Namaskar, followed by a round, and then a second round in the afternoon.
Expanded practice feels so wonderful and juicy. Who doesn't love to luxuriate?
And then life happens and a late night means that the following morning we sleep in a little and then no time for Surya Namaskar. Then an early call to work means there is only enough time for the usual twenty minute practice. Later that day, a traffic jam means no round in the afternoon and the twenty minute practice is happening in the car on the side of the road.
Bye bye expanded practice. Just like that, we contract.
This is no problem. It's totally natural to contract after a period of expansion.
One of the benefits is that we get to notice how we feel and gather information. For example:
I felt great when I was doing Surya Namaskar every morning. When I missed it I felt less aligned with nature and just a bit "blah."
I loved doing a round in the afternoon. All the day's tension melted away and I slept better that night, too. When I can fit it in, I'm definitely doing a round in the afternoon.
The more comfortable we are with our practice expanding and contracting, the better. As long as our baseline is non-negotiable twenty-minute twice daily meditation, the expanded version of our practice is a beautiful bonus, one we can enjoy when it's practical.
The time may come when Surya Namaskar becomes a non-negotiable part of one's practice. If that occurs, it will happen naturally, without rigidity. We will be easy about it and in the meantime, we will continue to enjoy the contrast between expanded practice and our regular practice.