This morning we woke up to sea smoke and cold air and headed to… wait for it…
Oh no I am not kidding.
If you have been reading for a wHile, you know that I am a total failure at yoga class.
My poor friend Kim, who is all kinds of certified in yoga and heads away to sleep in bunk rooms with enlightened other yogis and, I assume, their disciples at places called things like Kripalu (which I have called ‘Cripple You’ on more than one occasion because that is what all that twist-into-a-pretzel stuff would do to me).
My poor friend Kim is normally pretty chill and accepting but she canNOT figure out why I am so yoga-incapable, considering my ability to ponder, along with my fondness for balance and gratitude and stuff.
The one and only time she tried teaching me herself, she brought me out to the waterside gardens at The Inn (rather early in the morning). Also, and this could have been the issue, she invited my other friend, Anna, to join us.
Kim was so zen and quiet as we found places to sit (and breath).
Then Kim told us to follow her movements and I think that’s what started the giggles.
Because, shockingly, it turns out that I am kind of competitive in a way that made me at least try to get into the positions Kim was getting herself into. Only Kim was sort of effortlessly flowing herself in and out of them, whilst my body seamed to move and click in the way that my Barbie doll’s knees did when I was little. Kim tried to remain all spiritual-y but I could see the cracks appearing in her Buddha chill.
Finally, she told us to just sit there and be quiet (she had softer words for it, but that was the general idea). This worked for about ten seconds, until I said that I was seeing cool colors behind my eyes. Kim got all excited and began talking about chalk-rahs.
This irritated Anna a little bit because, evidently, she was not seeing colors. Then her competitive juices began to flow and pretty soon she was complaining about her inner world of darkness and then I wondered (aloud) what that meant about her immortal soul and then things really went off the rails.
There you go.
A few weeks ago, JoHn went to the doctor because a few fingers that he kind of needed for stuff like typing were feeling a bit numb. Then that led to a visit to a local, miracle-working physical terrorist. Then that led to the diagnosis of his shoulders and stuff being absurdly tight. Then that led to a specific prescription. Yep.
So we decided to start using our YMCA family membership and, after the kids left post-holidays, we started our classes.
ES… as in multiple and I will tell you way more about spinning later (once my coccyx heals).
So back to yoga.
I went with JoHn (kind of a ‘support your spouse’ thing), and then?
Today I went back!
I’m processing it too.
It may take me a while.
But I like it, it’s all kind of chill. And it sometimes involves shaking and an attempt not to fall… or fart. But I digress.
This morning we were unrolling our mats, which I got at the last-minute a couple of weeks ago at HomeGoods. There was only one that was not purple or pink or teal and didn’t say anything. Then there was another one that was a nice neutral grey, but says ‘clarity’ at one end.
Apparently, ‘clarity’ is a girl word because JoHn immediately claimed the plain one, and I have ‘clarity’, which – due to my rather strong oppositional reflex – strikes me as prescriptive and bossy. So I always put my back to the word when I’m standing on my yoga mat in case my spirit is more comfortable with clutter, versus clarity, at any given moment.
My yoga teacher says not to push ourselves.
But anyway, this morning we were rolling out our mats and getting ready to do yoga stuff and in runs my new friend Bet. She is all breathless and flustered and she dumps her stuff and rolls out her mat (seemingly in one motion) and she says, “Sorry!” and then she pauses and adds, “Traffic.”
There was a 1.7 second pause in the studio before what she said landed in our morning-fuzzied brains, and then laughter bursted forth.
No seriously, it totally bursted forth (and could have hurt itself).
Because, in so many many many parts of the world, or landmass (or other stuff GPS can help with), that excuse would have been completely rationale.
But we live on a peninsula in midcoast Maine and it is January.
Any excuse would have probably been more believable than ‘traffic’.
But what was sinking into my brain, and what stayed there for the entire class… was the ‘we’.
We live on peninsula in midcoast Maine and it is January.
Like, in the ‘we’.
So, while everyone else was focused on their breathing and keeping their shoulders down and tightening their cores while they bend and reach out to something way, way in front of them whilst staying completely present in the moment?
I had my eyes closed and did all of those things the best I could. Okay, except the being present part.
I was joyfully visualizing…
This rocky finger of land
Stretching out, into winter’s sea
Where laughter replaces the traffic
And I’ve begun tucking ‘me’…
Thanks for readin’.
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