The Writing

18 April, 2012

this is not the story of a born again yogi

So I started yoga reluctantly, because my pilates teacher was quitting and I needed something to do in its place and she said--oh, do yoga! You will love it.

So I did, and she was right. And here's why: for that 75 minutes, I am totally in the moment. I am not worrying about students, or how much grading I have, or that godsforsaken query letter I am supposed to be working on, or how guilty I feel because I haven't made much time for Swedish. There is something very... freeing... about that kind of concentration. Sure, sometimes it hurts it's challenging. But it's exhilarating, too. Probably all the breathing. I'm not always totally focused. Sometimes I notice the chick next to me with her 19 year old rubber limbs and no muscle strength. Or the chick over there who can't touch her damn toes and wtf? She's maybe 20! Or that woman, lord, who is wrapped in a knot and making it look easy and maybe, maybe, I can get another half...and...inch...into this twist....!

At which point I remind myself "let it go," and most of the time, I do. More of the time, now.
Yoga reminds me that no, that right hip Has Issues(tm), probably related to over-training and bad posture in martial arts years ago, and exacerbated by running (which has been largely replaced by the elliptical). That my elbows have nerve tweaks, and that while upward bow is possible, it may not be a good idea.  That  I am also not 20 any more, and I can't just muscle my way through the poses and trust that I'll heal by morning. I need to respect my body, and my limits, which are subject to change. A bad day is just a day. Let it go.

Yoga also reminds me that I am very, very lucky: my body is healthy, northern European-sturdy. That I am strong., and flexible, and that I can do the stronger variations of most of the asanas, most of the time.

But oh, the ones I can't do piss me off. My favorite yoga teacher told me (rather sternly) this afternoon that I have a "nice practice" and "if headstand is going to lead to injury, you don't need it." But I want it. And the badass arm balances. I want to be more than I imagined I could be, three years ago. I want to be more than I am, right now. I want headstand by 40. Let's see if I get it.