When all else fails – personal motivation, changes in schedules, or “locking in” a class with strong intention – turn to a ‘yoga buddy.’ Yes, the person with whom you make plans to yoga and then dine together. The person who holds you accountable and, dare I say, adds a dash of excitement when the natural yoga thrill is weak. Tonight I pulled in the yoga buddy and I’m glad I did. I’ve hoped (strongly) to attend this teacher’s class for some time, even to the point of placing her class permanently on my Google Calendar. Each Monday morning the reminder pops up – “attend class.” Each Monday morning I avoid it. But, tonight…ah, tonight: tonight I attended a different class of hers and gained not only some terrific time on the mat but some extra time afterward with two excellent women, a dish of Thai, and a glass of wine.
(My heart just did a little cheer, complete with pom-poms and a cartwheel.)
The key moment in class tonight was when she took an asana I love (double pigeon, aka firelog pose) and took it even further. “Here, place your chin in your hand…prop it on your elbow. Now, let your body grow heavy.” Oh, heaven. Heaven in a way that only heaviness in the being, deliberate calm in the body and mind, deep breathing in the body, and intense opening in the hips can offer. Heaven obtained through a series of groin and hip stretches and a chin on the elbow. How remarkable. She talked about these moments as being real moments. They’re spaces where we meet ourselves in tension and discomfort – at our own physical or mental edges – and, once in them, we learn how to relax. To grow heavy. To listen to ourselves and reside in ourselves. To trust in ourselves. I imagined my self, heavy in myself and both extraordinarily comfortable and alert in myself, in places other than my mat. Say, how is this me in my work? Or, say, how is this me with my friends? Or, importantly, how is this me in relationship to myself? To reach that point of “heaven” requires a certain sureness, which I undoubtedly love yet with which I also struggle. So many lessons here for me.
What a lovely evening.