My phone rang at 9:50 this morning. It was my sister. “I’m parked outside your house to take you to yoga,” she said, putting an end to my debate of whether to pull it together to get to Eric’s 10:15 class in town. I told her I needed five minutes to wash my face, brush my teeth, and change out of pajamas into yoga clothes (half of which was the same outfit).
“You’re stalking me!” I joked as I opened the car door and got in with a mug of lukewarm coffee. The best kind of stalking–sometimes you need someone else to do the deciding. We arrived right on time. “No rushing to yoga!” I said, as we walked up the stairs to the studio. Class began with an invitation to lie down on our backs. “…and stay there,” I whispered to my sister.
And of course the class was just what this body, mind, and spirit of mine needed after a jam-packed week. I’m an introvert, and my job requires a great deal of extroversion, granted much of it is one-on-one and incredibly fulfilling. The class was perfect–less about sweating and more about connecting breath with movement, the instruction spare and clear, my favorite kind. I practiced with my eyes closed for much of the ninety minutes, occasionally glancing around the room, admiring this woman’s shoulders and that one’s folds, soft bellies, bodies both stiff and supple, the owner of the studio on a mat behind mine, very much embodying the me I’d like to become as I grow older myself.
My parents gave me an eight-class card for my birthday–in January–and this was the first time I used it, the first class I’d taken since Election night, not counting my paddleboard adventure in the mangroves in Vieques. What better way to spend part of a Saturday, I asked myself, my sister at my side, aware of my near-constant resistance to the hum of a practice that quiets me like none other.
Savasana, the deluxe version: a bolster beneath my knees, blanket enfolding my entire body, eye pillow. Lying there, not so much checking out of the chatter as enfolded by a few minutes of complete darkness and rest, tears sprung from the deep as if they’d been there hibernating all winter. I carried the light between my eyebrows, enclosed and hidden within the sinus cavity, down to the ache in my heart where the missing burrows, where the effort of doing softens and dissipates, where the winged one settles the flapping of wings, where the sense of being pulled in so many directions draws in to containment.
After, a splitting headache, the one I’ve been contending with on and off for a week now. We stopped in the cafe below, did some more catching up on the ride home. Alone now, sitting in the sun outside my apartment with an iced latte, I realize it’s finally spring. The crocuses are in bloom and it’s as if I’ve never seen the color purple before, didn’t even know it existed. A few hours between now and a Passover gathering at my parents’ house, the familiar feeling of being crowded mitigated by clouds drifting in a light blue sky.
Take rest, I hear myself saying to the crash of conversations in my head goading a crankiness I want to kiss goodbye, like the snow I suddenly notice is simply gone. Take all the time you need.
Image by Nancy Vala. Find more of her artwork at www.walkingsatellite.etsy.com.