If you read posts from a while ago, you know that I have been an avid practitioner of yoga and meditation since the 70's. Recently I have taken a hiatus from regular practice, as an experiment and due to a bout of laziness. Lately this has meant 1. yoga practice - only when teaching, and 2. meditation once every other week or so. In addition I have taken on a mildly stressful 1/2 time job unrelated to these pursuits. The stress is self imposed by my Virgo need for doing things well and right and the inability to control the situation to provide me with the resources needed to do things efficiently, and my childish need to be right. It does infiltrate my non working hours and even my meditations. I am also eating less alive food, less variety and occasional coffee binges, and much more sugar.
The result is: more stress, less joyfulness, less relaxed feeling, pain in my body - aka less fun. In meditation, my mind is filled with thought, I rarely get to that spacious place where there is no thought, whereas I used to be able to do that at anytime in the past. However, in present times of meditation, I am content even with this active mind as it is. In life, I am more reactive, less able to pull myself out of the "shenpa" or hook of life. I still maintain a stillness in perspective of being the non-doer of any of this, this has not changed. I can still step back and be the observer of my life experiences. The awareness of Self/observer/that which is beyond the experience has been maintained. ( don't really know how to describe This, which is beyond words)
2nd result: this body hurts every morning when it wakes up
Latest Conclusion: The practice of yoga and meditation truly change how my brain is wired and functions. For one, as has been reported in studies on Tibetan monks, I believe meditation strengthened the cingulate that allows "space" around all situations, giving time to consider, and not react. No reaction was necessary with a constant state of mind that allowed all things to be as they are.
I have experienced the rewiring of my brain over 30 years of practice. I have also experience the initial stages of rewiring of the brain in the opposite direction in the past three years of less to no practice.
2nd conclusion: I do not prefer this new/old state of being so much that I am returning to practice.
Actions Considered: Daily meditation, more home practice of yoga, eating better, less sugar, no coffee - ah the old days