When I began practicing yoga some moons back, bringing one foot forward from dog to a lunge is all about thump. You know that sound when your foot lands like a big heavy cement bag? Then came those instructors who’ll take us from dog to 3-legged dog to bring the foot forward. “Use your momentum”, they say. And we did. Thump!
It doesn’t really make a difference from where you start – down dog or 3-legged dog. The friggin thump is still there in the class. It’ll be loud enough because most only wanted to get there… the lunge as the destination.
Whatever happened to the journey??
Through continuous practices and trainings, I began wanting the journey more than just getting there – whether lunge or other poses or simply whatever. I decided to not thump. The decision to act was in itself the beginning of the journey. I became aware of the in-between – the journey where one foot travels either from the air or from the ground to move forward. I realized that this journey, the in-between is my core.
Whether some may see the core as a physical part of the body or metaphorically, the inner self, both holds true defining this journey. The first four Sutras of Patanjali define yoga as such. The systematic process of my practice, unmoving or moving meditation, allows me to bring my attention inward, advancing as I attain mastery, however minuscule the progress, focusing on my Senses, my Body, my Breath, my Mind, and hopefully towards my Consciousness, the very Center. I get to know my true nature and be at ease with my true self. This is the journey. This is what yoga is all about.
We strengthen our physical core leading to a fluid practice. The fluidity is meditation in itself. The fluidity is the journey. There is no fast forward by swinging the leg up to bring it to the front. Forget the friggin momentum. Come back to the present, the journey, the core. Get excited at where you are. And even when the teacher asks you to swing it up, do it ever so slowly and sweetly that you sway forward hugging your core in, knee kissing the nose, arching the spine, hold it even for a few seconds… then land the foot to the top of your mat… and you feel this honey-like smoothness of your movement… and you hear nothing except your rustling exhale… the friggin THuMP is all but the past.