I have become a yoga fiend. I don’t know how this happened or when exactly, but it’s slowly taken over my life. I do triangle pose while waiting for water to boil. I fold into uttanasana (standing forward bend) when retrieving things from a low shelf. I balance in tree pose while standing in line at the DMV.
There is no doubt that I am a strange student. I ask questions constantly. Where should my foot be pointing when I lean forward? What if my heel doesn’t reach the ground? I try everything even if I don’t think I can do it. My foot over my head? Probably not, but let’s try. When I fall out of Crescent pose (because it happens every time, that pose has it out for me) I laugh.
Laughter is wonderful in a room full of yogis. Everything is so serious, so quiet that I have to laugh sometimes. I am always laughing at myself and my body’s apparent inability to do what I wish it to. We come for a class that bends and twists and challenges us, something that is both physically and spiritually moving. Sometimes we just can’t do it. So I laugh when I fall, because what else is there to do?
Everyone I know who is a regular yogi has or is working on what I call their one-pose-wonder. The pose that’s really hard, but can be pulled out as a hat trick to prove that you have something to show for yourself. My mom can hold crow pose, a regular in my class can hold Urdhava Dhanurasana (I grew up calling this Bridge, but is called something else in yoga) until the cows come home. I’m working on a Tripod Headstand.
Head and hands on the ground, feet in the air, one leg at a time. Slow and steady, don’t forget to breathe. Even on my best days I’m shaky. I’ve inched – day by day – away from the wall. “You’ve chosen the most unsteady pose,” my teacher tells me. “Take a breath and try again.” With practice you’ll reach your goals.
At the end of yoga class, while I’m laying in shavasana (also known as corpse pose, also known as I’m tired of sweating and I’m done yogaing now) I feel like I’m floating. When I close my eyes I can see myself floating on the earths crust, but from below, as if the ground was glass and I was looking up at myself. Sometimes I will fly through the air, floating on the clouds, rising up and up, before slowly returning to earth.
Today I wish that I could open my eyes to my new life in Los Angeles that I have yet to build for myself. With an apartment and a scooter and an internship all lined up. Just like a movie I would open my eyes and be in a different yoga class in a different city with a slightly different life. And I would hop on my scooter and go home to my studio apartment and have tea and plan out the rest of my week (Internship on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday; volunteer on Wed…).
I often write complete blog posts with my eyes closed, the words shining behind my eyelids, as I slide back into my current life I say a prayer to remember what I just wrote in my head. Please remember, I pray, starting to slowly wiggle my fingers and toes, shaking my head from side to side. I stretch my arms above my head as if waking.
As this week comes to an end I want to take a moment honoring myself and my practice: my life as I see and understand it. I am taking a second moment to honor those around me as they practice and grow in their understanding of themselves and the world. Lastly, I wish to honor the forces that work around us, through the whole world. However you believe these energies are at work, honor them with me.