|The closest you will get to a pic of me in a yoga pose.|
Here I am with my yoga mat.
I have an acquaintance who is a therapist and she posts about "self care", and what that means. I struggle a little with some of those ideas for myself, because sometimes they cost money I don't have to spend. (Or at least, not spend on me). Back to the self-care loop. Even going to the dog refuge or walking in the mountains requires money for gas, getting in the car, time. I struggle with that balance of not having infinite funds and needing the time away. So, for a long time I just looked and dreamt, and then one night I decided, enough looking, I was going. I needed the time, I needed the yoga, I needed to move forward. And, I needed to step into a truth, but that is for another blog.
Had I written this blog after my first 90 minutes (Tuesday evening at 6:30), I would have told you about the heat and the humidity. How my hips welcomed the stretch and how the hot air on my skin and the prickly carpet under my arms in my final shavasana were gifts that made me feel.
Had I written this blog after my second day, taking two classes within 12 hours of each other (6:30AM and 6:30PM), I would have shared that yes, we learn something from every teacher we practice with, and that on that day, I had learnt being frustrated with the teacher helped no one. (And that not all teachers have learnt humility in their practice.) It didn't matter how annoying the teacher was, what mattered was that the dialogue was there to guide me through my practice and I needed to rely on it. No matter who it was delivered by or how it was delivered.
Had I written this blog after the third day, when I accidentally ended up in an intermediate class (my fault, I read the schedule wrong) I would have written that I needed to spend more time making my arms and abs stronger. As much as I loved the basic practice and it taught me every class exactly where I was with my body, this 90 minutes taught me where I was not.
But what I learnt, the learning that 9 hours of sweating so much you don't think you can sweat any more and yet you do, the learning that falling out of postures, taking too long to get into postures as an excuse to be lazy, avoiding/cheating in heart opening postures like camel because you cry after them, the learning that comes as you find your balance in a posture that has eluded you for years, the learning that sits now deep in the bones of my legs, in the joint of my big toe, is something Janice, my first Bikrham teacher, had tried to teach me years ago. That balance in the yoga room reflects the balance in your life. I thought back then that she meant the balance between your left and right, your work and pleasure, art and science, your happiness and your reflection. No, what she was trying to teach me was that balance was about being in that moment, and not letting anything else into the mind. It was about being present, 100% right there, all the time. And my mind is my worst saboteur. When I struggled in the balancing series it was because I was THINKING. About Ralph, or Carlos, or the dogs at the refuge, or giving things up, or getting things done, or being at my cottage. I allowed those thoughts to creep in and steal that special sweaty time I had created for myself. Why, I wonder. Can you imagine if every time we let our mind wander when we were sitting at dinner with friends we fell out of our chairs?
My homework this year, because I have decided to go back to Puebla next year for a similar "retreat", is to work at just being present in the moment I am in. Whatever that brings. Whatever that means.