Sunday, August 26, 2012

Light within me, light within you


Monday I went to yoga.

I went to yoga, the usual class and teacher. This took courage as I was carrying around a negative experience from several weeks before.

That day she had stood behind me and told me to pivot my quad muscle backward (how on earth?) and narrow my stance. To protect the knee. A pose I've done hundreds of times, she was saying I was making the most basic mistake. Trying too hard, like a child.

I said I haven't been to yoga for over a month and my hips are really tight. She didn't care.

A former dancer. Injured and deformed, slightly bitter. With her standing there I adjusted my foot and tucked my tailbone. My hip burned and under her critical eye I smouldered. A huge effort to get to your tiny, monotonous class. You don't even care.

Yoga really helps my shoulder and neck. It's reliable and does not cost $175, unlike a visit to Dr. F. After an hour that tightness and nerve pain on my right side is gone. I can breathe. So once a week I go for 1 hour and 10 minutes. The movements are repetitious and my mind hops all over the place, like a monkey. It's not easy.

A larger issue: boredom. Despite those pesky issues with executive function, I need to use my brain. Intellectual stimulation. Meaningful work. Human interaction.

What that looks like for me now, I don't know. Once in a while I spot myself in the mirror mid-pose, like side angle or side plank. I think going through the motions. Exaggeration, not nuance. A clown doing mock poses. All the stuff I'm going through, can't even hide it and be normal for one hour.

That encounter was more than two weeks ago. At the end of class the teacher announced there would be a substitute for the next 10 days. The sub was very calm and neutral and wore a pink top.

Then the regular teacher was back, brown from the sun and relaxed. She even cracked a few jokes. Despite my fears, class went smoothly. I made it through another hour and 10 minutes. She called us back from shavasana in the usual way. She asked us to sit quietly in a comfortable position and take a moment.

And then she said something completely new. Savor this moment. In this moment you have everything you need. For once you do not need to go anywhere, do anything, you have everything you need.

The monkeys stopped. I breathed and sat. I felt exactly what was there, nothing more and nothing less.

I will die some day, I am deformed (like her), I make mistakes and find my way.

The journey is enough.

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