It take courage to enjoy it/ the hardcore and the gentle/ big time sensuality.
Growing up in Indiana, I always had an instinctual urge to stretch at inappropriate times: during class, at the dinner table, sitting atop tree branches, etc. It just felt so good. As a swimmer in high school, I couldn’t wait until the bell rang so I could put on my suit and stretch on the warm floor beside the pool, taking deep breaths of the sweet sweat and chlorine scented air around me. To this day, and even more so, I get a feeling of satisfaction that’s become practically necessary from lengthening my tendons, spreading synovial fluid around my joints, and connecting to my breath.
Northwest Indiana, the region I grew up, beloved and charming as it is, is not exactly the epicenter of progressive fitness/ meditation, and I didn’t know of any classes that were offered in my darling little town of Hobart. So I bought a yoga DVD from T.J. Maxx and tried it out. Voila! Something clicked. I realized I needed to do this. That is where I learned my basic sun salutations/ asanas, and soon afterward, as a young private in the National Guard, I found myself teaching small groups of high ranking officers at Physical Training hour. And it made me feel great.
I’ll be the first to admit that going to a new studio can be nerve-racking, ESPECIALLY if you’ve never been to a formal class before. So anxiety inducing, in fact, that it prevents many people who are curious about yoga from ever actually going. Truth be told, when I finally moved to a place that had yoga studios, I didn’t have the guts to go until I enrolled in Yoga 1-2 at Indiana University and was invited by my warm, gracious teacher to come check out Healing Spirit Yoga ( http://www.healingspirityoga.com/ ) where she taught. I was nervous and self conscious for the first, oh, fifteen or so classes that I attended, but finally it clicked. These people, more experienced and flexible than myself, weren’t watching or judging me. I didn’t look like the idiot I thought I did in my head. My classmates were far too busy focusing on their own postures and allignments to consider what I was doing, even if they wanted to. Which, of course, they didn’t.
Wendy Glecker, my instructor at IU, exuded a perfectly balanced air of calm vitality. She was happy, genuinely happy, in a way that I had rarely witnessed prior. And it showed, in her contagious smile, graceful posture, and overall sunny demeanor. At that point in my life, my messy early twenties, I didn’t think it would ever be possible for me to be anything like her; to not feel constantly conflicted, scattered all over the place, dissatisfied and never quite wholly healthy. But now that I’m almost thirty, I’ve learned that all I have to do is give myself to yoga, work hard, and never give up to help others and attain inner peace and become the person I want to be. It was that simple all along.
My “New Year’s Resolution” is to get that damn foot over my damn head. I will have it down by June, damnit. Like I always say, if I can do it while I’m drunk, then of course I can do it perfectly whilst sober.
And if the world were black or white entirely
And all the charts were plain
Instead of a mad weir of tigerish waters,
A prism of delight and pain,
We might be surer where we wished to go
Or again we might be merely
Bored but in brute reality there is no
Road that is right entirely
“Let us record the atoms as they fall upon the mind in the order in which they fall, let us trace the pattern, however disconnected and incoherent in appearance, which each sight or incident scores upon the consciousness.”
― Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader
“You will always be loved, and you will always be in love with love. A grande passion is the privilege of people who have nothing to do. That is the one use of the idle classes of a country. Don’t be afraid. There are exquisite things in store for you. This is merely the beginning.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray