A lit­tle yoga is in or­der you’re com­ing un­done

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Viewpoints -

Un­done. I was less than im­pressed.

I’d rushed af­ter work to get home, or­ga­nize a bit of sup­per (in the twenty min­utes I had) and then head down­town.

Of course, my sup­per was ‘beige’ again, I thought. And then think­ing ‘I’ve got to be­come a bet­ter cook’. Surely, I could do that.

All the way down the coulees and up again, and through the busy down­town streets, my thoughts only on my fail­ings, get­ting there and find­ing an hour of peace. Well, truly, that was the sec­ond trip, af­ter I’d started out, for­got my yoga mat and came back to get it, leav­ing in a storm again. Curs­ing out loud, while I tried to clear my head and fran­ti­cally check­ing the clock as I drove.

So when I hit the door of the stu­dio, threw my flip flops off at the base of the stair­case, I was more of a hot mess than a yoga god­dess. And I was three min­utes late. I ran up the stairs, rounded the cor­ner and was greeted with ‘Oh, I see you are later than me’. ‘Yep, I am’, I said, not even con­cerned that my tone was less than gra­cious or apolo­getic and I con­tin­ued my quick steps to un­load my things and beat the woman who greeted me, into the room and onto my mat. From there it got worse.

I did try to clear my head, and let the min­utes, the days, the weeks, the months, the years, the decades, fall away.

It wasn’t hap­pen­ing. I forced my­self to stay there on that pink mat, as I went back and forth in my head about my op­tions of get­ting out of that room and go­ing home, where I could es­cape the im­pos­si­ble task of peace, by keep­ing busy.

Not cook­ing, ob­vi­ously. ‘Maybe…I could clean out the garage and the SUV. Maybe, I’d walk dou­ble the dis­tance. Maybe…’ and on it went, as you can well imag­ine.

It seemed like an hour when the yoga leader fi­nally came in. ‘Thank­fully’ I thought, but not in a grate­ful way. She set­tled in and said ‘Well, since it’s just the two of you, we’ll do hip open­ers. What do you guys think?’ I nearly lost my mind as her words left her mouth. I stiff­ened and looked over at the ex­tremely calm woman sit­ting cross legged be­side me, and heard her lovely re­sponse – I’m good with any­thing.

I turned back, look­ing straight at the teacher and said ‘I’m a NO.’ She looked straight into my eyes and said ‘I guess we’re do­ing them then, you must need it.’

Se­ri­ously, I thought. Sure, I re­ally need to be told I need one more thing I don’t want. I said noth­ing.

She started the prac­tice and I fol­lowed ev­ery in­struc­tion, more hon­estly, I fought ev­ery in­struc­tion and did what she asked. I was not grace­ful, I was not peace­ful, I was un­done. There isn’t much I dis­like more than be­ing un­done. But there I was, un­done.

Yoga con­nects you, some­times to things you as­pire to and some­times to things not left be­hind. Both of which seemed im­pos­si­bil­i­ties that day.

There came a mo­ment, near the end, that I started to breathe (hav­ing mostly held my breath the en­tire hour) and I laid there on my back, forc­ing my eyes to stay closed and grap­pling with the emo­tions that the poses she took me through brought out. And the re­al­ity that I ex­pect more from my­self than any­one else in my life, and any­thing short of ac­com­plished is not enough. I thought too, about how I own oth­ers fail­ings, as mine and I ex­pect ab­so­lutely noth­ing in re­turn for my kind­ness, love and en­ergy. And while that is a tremen­dous gift to oth­ers, it is a bur­den for my heart and mind.

Fi­nally, yoga was fin­ished, the hour over.

With­out a word, I got up from my mat, headed for the door, ran down the stairs, grabbed my flip flops and ran across the park­ing lot, tears flow­ing down my cheeks. I jumped in the SUV and headed back down the busy street, up and down the coulees and back home. I parked out­side in front of the garage and sat for a while. And then, I went in­side.

That day was hard, as some­times days are, but it (and her darn poses) was needed and made a dif­fer­ence, she was right. It was time, to let my­self be, un­done.

ERIN BEN­NING

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