I went on a yoga retreat this past weekend. The yoga practice was much more intense than I am used to. We did a lot of backbending. And I spent a lot of time on top of my head.
For me, the yoga experience is usually chaotic, travelling by a subway to get to a studio or to the gym, participating in the flow, contorting my body in ways I didn't know possible, leaving the room and hitting the city streets, taking the trek home, finally eating dinner at 10pm. It is rushed. It is something I do in between everything else I need to do.
But, the retreat allowed me to explore my practice a bit more and understand the way my body moves. I surprised myself with some of the things I could do. I surprised myself with some of the things I could not do. I learned that my shoulders are weak. Suddenly everyone was up on their hands or resting on their forearms with their legs in the air and I could do nothing but collapse to the ground. It frustrated me to know that I couldn't do something while everyone else floated into it so effortlessly. But, when you challenge your body like that, it takes patience. It builds over time.
We were told by our wonderfully, patient instructors, that you always have to literally look ahead. You have to direct your eyes where you want to end up. And it makes sense. If you look down, you will fall down. If you look forward, that's where you'll go. That is a rule in sports. Imagine a tennis player looking down at the court after he takes a swing. Where do you think the will the ball go? It's the same with everything. The direction you look towards in life is the direction you'll take.
Of course, with all of this time to reflect, I thought of my writing. Like yoga, writing is something I do in between everything else. I can't always give it the time it needs. I always have the 'looking ahead' part down. I always know where I want to go. But it takes more than that. It takes practice. Whether it's handstands or novels...I just need to give it time.