Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Namaste. And be quiet.

If you're one of those people who has had to endure my recent tirades about how much I love hot yoga, I apologize. A five class trial at a yoga studio near my house, and now I've become a full-on yogi, taking 4-5 classes every week, telling anyone who will listen how much I love it and inviting others to join me in class (Do you want to come? Seriously. Come!).

Have no fear, I still drink (too much) beer and coffee, still make irresponsible food choices (I've been surviving solely on candy and baked good since the holidays), and still don't get nearly enough sleep; I haven't completely gone to the dark side.

I've just added yoga to the list of current obsessions I have. My body and mind feel strong, and I feel centered for the first time in a long time. Plus I'm doing things I haven't done since I was a teenager -- like back bends and splits. Moves I can only assume will make me popular in the dating world.

Much to the delight of the more seasoned yogis, lately we've been experimenting with inversion poses, or handstands. As much as I have come to love yoga, I do not love the handstand portion of the class. I just feel so out of my element, flailing my legs in the air, praying I won't fall and embarrass myself.

During one class recently, the instructor walked around and offered to assist those trying to get into the handstand pose. She and I made eye contact and the look of desperation in my eyes told her I was in need of some help.

She gave me some pointers about how to set up for the pose. Once I was in the right position, the only thing left to do was to go for it.

"Ok, now just kick your legs," she gently said, ready to catch them. I did as I was told, albeit with a lot of hesitation, and with her help, I successfully did a handstand.

Once my legs were safely on the ground, I looked up at her to tell me what I needed to work on.

"It seems you have issues with trust," she said.

I know she was talking about trusting myself and my body to do the handstand, but I couldn't help but laugh at what felt like her unexpected insight to my soul, as I thought to myself, "Girl, you have no idea."

Only instead of just thinking privately how much the instructor's comment really meant, I actually said, out loud, in front of her and everyone else in the class, "Oh, you said it, sister."

I said it with a smile on my face, but my eyes still widened and my face burned with embarrassment when I realized I'd used my outside voice instead of my inside one. Some of my fellow yogis chuckled as I shrugged my shoulders and laughed. I don't think the instructor knew what to do or say, so she gave me a sympathetic, awkward smile and then walked away to help someone else.

Yoga is all about quieting your mind so that you can be present within the moment. But maybe I could work on just being quiet in general, and keeping my angst to myself. Clearly, I have a lot to learn, and not just how to do a handstand.



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