Practice is all about angles. Yoga practice, writing practice, piano practice: it doesn’t matter in this way. The internal angles, the angles you can only feel and guide by breathing and longing, those are the angles you are refining, mobilizing, stabilizing and freeing.
Too often we think our yoga practice is about angles of arms, legs, torsos, and the usual adjustments really encourage this. Not the adjustments’ – or the adjusters’! – fault though. It is important that the lower side body not collapse in Triangle, just to the lower hand to the ground. It is vital that the knee not knock inward in Warrior I and II. These are important angles, and ones some forget to check if there’s no one to lightly touch the lower rib cage or ask them to press their outer knee into their hand.
But we give too much credence to these angles and adjustments when we keep going to those classes and listening to voices outside our own. Those angles are the way in, the signposts for another kind of sensing, one we can only do when our practice is ours alone.
And the paradoxical, terrifyingly beautiful magic of it all is that when we close the door, settle into that first Mountain or Vajrasana, however we’re meeting ourselves on the mat today, and claim our practice for our own, we are so deeply held and anything but all alone. Try it. I’ll meet you there.