I had stopped paying attention to the melodious sounds of
–inhale into upward facing dog
–exhale into downward.. etc.
Her voice was great, like lotus butter, but I was simply putting one breath after another in a heroic effort to remain breathing at all – you would have called it gasping if you had been the poor person next to me. We were not in to this Power (!!) Vinyasa Yoga Class far, maybe 10/90 minutes. The temperature in the room was exactly 90°F. The thermometer on the wall, next to the clock with every number replaced with the word “Now”, said so. For a “hot” yoga class, this is apparently on the tepid side. I am pretty sure I just had a fever. I could go on like this, but you probably get the idea. Make funny comments to yourself about a big white guy in pigeon pose.
It was funny, even to me. I was smiling at myself. I grew up being an athletic guy, picked close to first on the playground. I played tennis really well when I was young, was a state qualified swimmer, played varsity basketball by my sophomore year in high school. Now I work long hours with my body held, at the operating table, in poses any yoga teacher would be proud to duplicate (if they were in any way healthy) and my brain is getting all my juice. Meanwhile my hamstrings are winding tighter than the g string…
on a guitar (sorry, couldn’t go there this time). My body has taken a beating in service to my brain. All I can say is this yoga class took me, not vice versa. And, that is ok.
In spite of living in one of the yoga karmic home bases of the world, I can count the yoga classes I have taken on one hand; but even as I found my ridiculous version of each pose, I also found something happening in me. I was showing up, my body was moving, working, sweating. It was thanking me, after many, dammit, years of doing other worthy and less-than-worthy things, I was putting myself through some paces, sweating, breathing.
I couldn’t yet empty my brain and just be and just move. I have so long abused myself with thinking and working that I could not let it go, yet. I will though. As I lay on my back at the end of class (when the instructor’s voice was saying blah blah blah and my mind was hearing: NoMorePosesNoMorePoses), I could feel my spine opened up a little. The cement holding me in was looser, and I was taking deep, long breaths.