Friday, September 23, 2011

Is tree planting yogic?

Farming the last two weeks has been bloody. hard. work.  Something like 1400 native trees and shrubs had to go into the ground to create a windbreak, and in other areas to help rebalance the ecosystem by attracting bees and birds and possums and kangaroos.  That is a lot of trees.  We had some manly men digging the holes with "kangas," (something like a little mini tractor), thank goodness, but it still involved a lot of stooping and getting up and down to move from one tree to the next.  Good thing we were planting them too, the neighbours of the farm were spraying toxic chemicals of doom all over their fields, so hopefully the positive impact of so many new trees will help to cancel out the poisons the other guys were using.  Being on the farm doing so much manual labour makes it pretty tough some mornings to get up and do my practice before heading out to do hard work all day long, but I haven't missed a practice yet, and to be honest, other than the stupid-o-clock wake up, it seems to be what is keeping my body in check.  Last week I was a very naughty ashtangi and did my intermediate practice on Friday, but luckily, the yoga police didn't crack down on the infraction mid karandavasana or something.  I simply wanted to get into all those backbends after all the stooping forward motions of farming, and it felt good.  Today I followed the rules and did intermediate series the rest of the week but stuck with primary series as it is once again, Friday, and just shifted the focus to the upward dogs in all the vinyasas.   I also slept in until the slovenly hour of 6AM, and went into the shala when the room was empty between classes.  Are these the rebellious teenage years of my yoga practice?  Perhaps.  Keeping up with my practice through all the hard work has felt like quite an accomplishment lately, so I don't mind bending the rules a little bit from time to time, treating myself to a sleep in etc.  Something tells me I could probably justify an extra day off as well, in the thought that tree planting itself is a yogic, an active example of non-harming (ahimsa) towards the earth, or karma yoga or something like that, but so far, it hasn't been necessary. 

Also,  just started reading 'The Cider House Rules' by John Irving, one of my favorite authors. Found a copy at the second hand shop this morning and happily snatched it up for a mere $3.  Yahoo!  Irving's books are all compulsive reads and have an interconnectedness about the plots and locations, and best of all they all carry an underlying element of the bizarre.  If you have not read anything by him, I suggest you do.  'The World According to Garp,' 'A Prayer for Owen Meany,' and 'Until I Find You' are my three favorites of his. 

Happy weekend!

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