31 Aug A Lesson in Heavy Breathing. And Releasing.
11:30 am on a Monday, and there I sat…spread eagle, legs shaking. I felt my whole body releasing all at once and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to laugh, or cry. So I did a little bit of both.
Now let’s rewind…
I’ve been meaning to get back into yoga. But not like the Lululemon booty shorts and heated rooms kind of yoga. Like Zen the F out and levitate off the floor yoga. When I lived in CA I went to a guided meditation class every Thursday night- the vibes were insane and I always left with a full heart (I’m creative by nature, so hippy shit has always kind of appealed to me). I’ve been hard pressed to find something comparable here in Vegas- until today.
Inexplicably nervous, and alone, I sat on a folding chair outside of the room and waited for the instructor to show up. The class was supposed to start at 10:30 and it was already 10:35. Was this a test? A patience practice? I called the number on the door and got a friendly sounding woman on the other end. She confirmed that the instructor would be there, but she normally runs a bit late because “that’s just her”. At 10:40 my new Zen yogi master showed up in an over-sized Old Navy shirt and those Sketchers platforms that work out your calves when you walk (questionable). The room smelled a little funny, like eucalyptus and feet- but I was already there, and I was committed to centering myself for the day. She informed me that we would be playing some trance-like melody that would assist with aligning the left and right sides of my brain. Had I not been fully planted on my yoga mat, directly across from her, I would have darted for the door. I hate trance (and the smell of feet, obviously).
She began our session by instructing me to spin around in a circle 21 times. Like a child? I don’t get it. What about Savasana? “Just spin!” she said. So I spun, around and around, like a middle-aged, out of shape school girl. For the first 15 or so spins, I was completely horrified. I felt uncomfortable and embarrassed. By the 21st spin I was ready to break into a tribal rain dance and blast off to outer space! When my head finally stopped spinning and my eyes settled back into their sockets, I felt it- this crazy rush of energy! Ommmm yes please!
I figured we would move on to some of the ‘usuals’ next- downward dog, cobra, uncomfortable Dan, pretzel…whatever. But there would be none of that.
We moved on to a simple, seated toe touch. But I can’t touch my toes- I’ve never been able to. So I looked up and smiled awkwardly, expecting my new master to say something along the lines of “it’s ok, only do what you can do today”. But this bitch had other plans!! She firmly planted herself behind me, and pushed my entire body forward with the weight of hers. She rocked my hips back and forth and chanted things like “this is great, you can do this” as she pressed my face to the floor. Was I giving birth? Was I dreaming? I felt vulnerable, but weirdly limber. Next she grabbed my legs. She pulled them away from my body with an insane force, and then twisted and contorted one leg at a time. As my legs drew closer to my face (like 180 degree angle close), I started to shake uncontrollably. “There it is! We found it” she said. She was so excited- it was kind of cute!
She went on to say that the hips are where the mind and the heart connect. She said I was storing something in my hips- a past trauma, maybe some unresolved issues that needed to be worked out. She challenged me to let my entire body shake until it stopped on its own. So we sat there, nearly scissoring, as my whole body spaz’d out. Suddenly the shaking stopped. And then a miracle happened you guys!
I touched my freaking toes!!
The whole experience was “Beyond”, to say the least and I can only compare today’s 1 hour yoga session to what I imagine Tantric sex with Sting is like.
**Today’s Lesson: Good things come to those who open their legs. Just kidding. But seriously, be open to trying new things that thrust you out of your comfort zone. Push yourself past what you feel are your own physical limitations and see how “flexible” you really are.**