I went to yoga class this morning. After over 7 months.
I haven’t felt this good in a long time. I also don’t remember the last time I did something without thinking about 20 other things at the same time, planning for the next 4 hours at least, all while trying to do whatever I was, at that moment. I didn’t even realise when the clock went from 7 am to 9 am.
I was a little concerned that I would be woefully out of shape, the way I was when I first began. Stiff as a board, even as the youngest member in the class, it was frustrating, how I couldn’t bend over or backwards easily. Surprisingly my lower back didn’t trouble me too much. It used to be the biggest hurdle in my stretches and my teacher said it was because I was carrying too much stress and it was going down into my back. Today however, my right side was knotted and stiff. It’s a reminder that the body echoes the state of life and the mind. I sit in the left-most corner of my cubicle. And my right side, which is the side that everyone usually sees of me, is the one that’s stiff and clenched. Does that indicate how propped-up, how unnatural, how artificial, how very repressed, restrained and forced I’ve been? Yes, it probably does. My left side, generally hidden to the world doesn’t suffer the same problem.
God, I’d forgotten why yoga is so therapeutic. It is really all about getting acquainted with your body. Usually, the experiences associated with the body…a long bath, a massage and sex….seem to be about removing something, getting something out, a sort of deliberate losing of consciousness. But yoga is about being gentle and understanding, a heightening of awareness. Yoga really is about listening to your body. Quite simply that….how much do we know about our own breathing? Do you breathe fast or slow? Hard and jerky or smooth and shallow? From your chest or your stomach? Through your nostrils or your mouth? Think about it. And understand it.
Right this moment, I can feel every breath go in and cool my insides. I can even feel the roadblocks in my breathing, physically caused by bad posture and congestion but really due to blockages that have accumulated. My body and spirit are in dire need of spring-cleaning. I’m on vacation this week and that’s what I’m going to do!