A Lesson in Subtle Awareness: The Results

The first day the process was wonderful. It felt great to wake early and practice asana while the sun rose and began to fill my living room. My sadhana practice was deep and I felt a real joy throughout my body – flush with new adventure. Breakfast was a profound experience of oatmeal and nature. As I sat silently and realized I never taste my food like this and that I hardly ever look outside my house before rushing to my car. I enjoyed the shadows on the tall oak trees and the soft sounds of morning in my neighborhood.

Things went on like that through about day 4. That morning I couldn’t quite make it up before dawn. I felt groggy and tired and my sadhana was heavy with tamasic energy. That energy stayed with me through the day and when I reflected back on habits of the night before I realized that I had eaten quite late and quite heavy. As the days continued on I was faced with an ever increasing number of challenges: from late night work schedules to personal conflicts to travel that prevented access to fresh, healthy food. In each of these cases I observed a dramatic decrease in my ability to connect with my subtle body. I also felt a compounding effect: as these incidents piled up, so did the vritti in my mind both in sadhana and throughout the rest of the day.