A little yoga is in order you’re coming undone
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.