What is the shape of a moment, how does a moment move?
Does it tread with silken footsteps, one after the other, to infinity?
Or like bricks piled one upon the other, reaching beyond the sky?
Is it circular, an embrace? Round like the planet?
Are moments going and coming, careening off one another, bounding into space?
Do moments get mashed in some cosmic mosh pit where present is past, past is present and future has become the victim of identity theft?
Is it dissolving? Seeking its own level? Or going nowhere, nowhere at all.
Allow this spirit of inquiry into your practice. Learn the qualities of moments and what they have to tell you.
Pick now your favorite posture. Enter into it with love and deliciously delicate awareness, as if entering a sacred place, a place of pilgrimage or an unmapped place where you are the very first traveler to mark the territory, to get its dust on your boots.
Breath tumbling into breath over breath, sound into stillness. Abide for a while here, sensing the atmosphere with inner eyes, ears, lungs, heart, back body meeting front. How long? Who knows, who cares. Just there. Be there.
Exit slowly, exhaling long, longingly, inwardly bowing your way out, like an adept arisen from the master’s lotus feet.
Where have you been? Where are you now? Still there? Or elsewhere.
Now do the posture that you like least, that confounds you every effin time. Enter as you will: cautiously, as if not to wake the baby or set the dogs to barking. Boldly with a sense of eminent domain. Whichever your way, watch out—this puppy will leave you honestly humbled by its trickster ways. Now the sweetness of the moment before has been slayed. Now the moment feels as jagged as a Japanese kitchen knife, the posture an iron chef deftly dicing up your resistance.
Listen: whose ujjayi is that, mixed with muffled moaning? Observe: whose drishti’s gone damp with tears? Yours, dear one, all yours. How long, how much longer will this torture last? Moments that feel like a forest creature breathing its stink of fresh eaten kill down your sweating neck.
Now, that exiting exhale, breath victorious indeed, as you break the surface into the light and air of the outer world again.
You made it, dear one, you’re home. Bask in this moment of triumph and tranquility.
Every pose an umbilical cord from the past descending into a moment of birth. The cord’s been cut. You’re breathing on your own. More alive than ever. You have become the shape and texture of the moment.
Valerie Carruthers recently posted “6 Ways to Tell That Your Practice is Working at Work.” Valerie is a maverick yogini who loves teaching and practicing Yoga and meditation as well as writing for magazines and the Web, not always in the same order or on the same day. She first practiced Yoga in New York City back when there were mainly “Hatha” classes and no soundtracks. When performing an asana had absolutely nothing to do with toning one’s ass. Based in east central Florida, she has taught classes to diverse populations for the past decade. Valerie is currently focusing on teaching workshops that combine Yoga and art-making for all levels. When wearing her freelancer’s hat, Valerie writes about a) how to devolve from the world and evolve spiritually and b) whatever fascinates her about the where the social face of Yoga in its rapidly shifting manifestations merges into the cosmic face of Yoga in all its blazing glory.