Repetition Rhumba

“Practice, practice and all is coming.”  –Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Throughout most of my life, I have always had these grandiose visions of being really good at something.  Now, I recognize that I am usually pretty good at most things, but the difference between being pretty good and really good is a fine line, a tightrope which I seem to refuse to walk.  That fine line between the two is practice.  And if there is one thing I’ve always hated to do, it is practice.

I want instant gratification.  I want to pick up a guitar and end up some type of prodigy; a person with a God-given talent, to whom the gift of music, or dance, or painting or writing or public speaking or knitting or origami or…(you get the drift), just comes naturally.  I’ve never had patience for practice.  And if I discover that I am not bestowed with some God-given talent, I usually give up and move on to the next thing, waiting for lightning to strike and “genius” to be imbued.

For example, I took a Classical Guitar course in college and my instructor told me to play A minor to D chord 1,000 times.  He then told me to practice C chord to F chord 1,000 times.  Bahh-ring.  I think I played 30 repetitions, gave up and probably made a sandwich.  But had he taught me to play “House of the Rising Sun” 1,000 times, which is a song comprised of those 4 chords, now that is something that might have held my interest.  That might have been a horse of a different tune altogether.  Because then, I was making music.

I’ve come a long way since my first introduction to yoga.  Back in the day when I thought “Namaste” was just a few mumbled syllables that closely resembled “John Stamos, stay”.  Learning a new yoga pose is exhilarating.  You can do it over and over again, and not really get it, until one day, the pieces just drop into place and it clicks and you have this “ah-ha” moment in your body.  Harmonious integration.  Somehow, yoga just worked the Mister Miyagi Effect on yo’ ass.  Wax on, wax off and all is coming…..

Spending five years working on a pose has got to teach you patience.  Humility and diligence.  I’m not going to lie, there are days, or even stretches of days when I just don’t feel like doing yoga.  But I have to say, it is the only thing that has held my attention for any significant length of time; the only thing to which I have dedicated continuous effort.  The depth to which you can learn and grow is endless.  And fack, yoga is so much fun!

It is that fact that keeps me practicing.  Because, just like the contrast between playing chords and playing music; whatever it is that you’re practicing has got to make you sing.

Practice, practice and all is coming?  Well, if that is the case, then what I think—no, what I feel, is that there is a lifetime of sweet, sweet music coming my way.

And I, for one, am ready to dance.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JJma
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 12:09:27

    Just to let you know your posting was very timely for me. I have felt like a quitter in the last few weeks and am not enjoying that feeling. A pep talk from Deena got me back on track, I hope,
    I remember a Rinpoche that I studied with 40 years ago saying,” The road to Enlightenment is not through being an expert but in DABBLING in many areas” I am a great dabbler in many things and an expert in none. Practice is so important and today I will practice my deep belief, ” Be HERE, BE NOW ”
    Yoga has been my core for many years and I am so grateful for it.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I enjoy your writing.


    • Jennifer Reed
      Aug 18, 2012 @ 13:45:30

      Thanks for reading, JJMa!!! Just like bringing your focus back to the breath, I think that we can continually, and compassionately, bring our focus back to our practice….even on those days when you just don’t feel like it!


  2. Mary Lynn
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 15:09:05

    Oh my Lovely, you are so good at many things, and reading your words ALWAYS makes me smile and reminds me that you may not be physically present but you have manage to capture my heart so you are with me in spirit!
    Sending bunches of hugs and love your way!
    Me 🙂


  3. Peg Thibbitts
    Aug 20, 2012 @ 13:39:04

    I love this post, Jennifer. I’ve often felt partially good at a million things and longed to feel like I really knew deeply about something. It’s practice, and also attention. Really paying attention.


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