105 degrees makes you focus on one thing, water, the water emerging from your pores in uncontrollable volumes and the amount you need to drink to restore those said depleting volumes. As a matter of fact, I thought more about swimming in yoga than making like a tree, but I digress.
I love the whole premise of Yoga, whether you are a beginner or a full fledged Yogi-you begin in gratitude, set your intentions and bless your journey. Stay compassionate in stance, strengthen your inner core, soften your gaze…..words to live by really. As I was Chaturanga-ing, very ungracefully it hit me, like the entire body weight that hit my mat, I mean let’s face it, I rocked the shavasana pose, but that chaturanga thing could kill you…or anything beneath you, in my case; the words of the instructor, are you here to soften, to strengthen, to become more flexible, to focus? Every cell in my being wanted to scream YES, and OUT LOUD. And thank God, my brain was still in tact and it halted my enthusiastic and wholehearted YES from bellowing out of my mouth. It really did hit me, that this is, what this hokey pokey is all about; staying strong on the inside, softening your words and your gaze, becoming more flexible and focusing on what is really important.
Now, I will say as I have added a ‘warmth layer’ over the last year to this body of mine, that I think I was on the right track, I just may have taken that soft thing to the extreme. I like being soft actually, there is something comforting about soft. But I think I will affirm gentle and kind and ok, mushy is sort of sweet too-however, I would like to restore strong and confident and vibrant because that whole combo of soft and strong, is just plain sexy! Strengthening from the core muscles to the core beliefs can only result in the best possible outcomes.
Strong in mind, body and spirit; soft in words, actions and gaze.
It is so easy to get caught up in the stress of it all, to not be able to pull your leg out of downward dog into a full lunge and then stand up…I mean, c’mon? Really? But, I know like Yoga is to Life, that takes practice, conscious thought, a thinner leg, and a solid desire to want to breathe through the challenges that come at us on a daily basis. To really not take it all too seriously. I stopped myself in the yoga class and looked in the mirror at myself trying to fold my left arm under my right arm, to form a very awkward pretzel and then to place my left leg across my right leg to form another weird and awkward pretzel and I looked so stupid and unbalanced that I had to just laugh. Granted, other people looked just lovely in the pretzel pose and they got there very gracefully. But it made me realize, that wherever you are and however you got there, you got there. The outcome may be predetermined, however, to consciously choose to embrace it all with laughter, with love, with grace and ease, is a choice.
I am grateful to the chaturanga for making me strong, the downward dog for increasing flexibility, the shavasana for softening my gaze and spirit and… the pretzel pose, for restoring my sense of humor!