September 22, 2010

Balancing an Unbalanced Body, Mind and Soul

I was a few minutes late and the door was closed and people were all kinds of posed, lights low and I just figured it was terrible manners to walk in on a calm atmosphere like that all loud & late (since I am no delicate butterfly when I enter a room)... Defeated I turned around headed back down the hall and ran smack dab into a pregnant woman all geared up in YOGA wear

"Oh hi --are you in the YOGA class?"

"Yes I am"

"Did it start already? I don't want to be rude"

"No I just think people are getting situated its ok to go in"

"Well its my first time here I was unsure what to expect"

"Mine too" she says and we exchanged pleasantries and I followed her lead as we entered the room

It was spectacular...had I not lived in Chicago myself I would have never felt we were in the middle of the city (ok except that the train came by quite a few It was a huge lofted old warehouse space..hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, cool lighting and stairs leading to an outside terrace adorned with flowers and all sorts of zen.

I didn't know what to expect as I took my place on the floor next to an older woman who didn't so much as smile at me. I was happy when the instructor welcomed all the "new faces" and some of the regulars clapped as the class began. At first I loathed the bodies around me. These women had long, lean amazing, amazing bodies and then it hit me...I WANT to be in a YOGA class with women who look like this...they are a very good example of what the outcome may be if I stick with it.

I "centered" myself, but struggled to keep my eyes closed at first and be one with my breathing. But then the stretching, and tree poses, my cat and dog and downward dog felt amazing, my sun pose was spectacular and my body started to quiver as I stood on one leg and tried to balance a body so totally and completely foreign to trying to center itself to anything or be one with any sort of calm or balance in its life.

I did get really into it though.

I loved the instructor and her soothing voice, I loved the atmosphere, the people grew on me when I realized we were all in the same boat, I was happy with my cute little YOGA outfit and secretly prayed to God to give me a body JUST like the woman in front of me.

After a good stretch in my child's pose and rocking myself side to side....the class was coming to an end. She slowly talked us into being completely flat on our backs, palms upward, arms at a 45* angle at our sides...softly speaking to let us know where we should "be" as she walked around the room shutting off the lights one by one.

When all was silent and the room pitch black I closed my eyes and was completely alone in my own head.

And for the first time in a loooong time I felt calmness come over me, peace in my heart, spirit in my soul and the tears started to fall.....they ever so lightly rolled to the sides of my temples , into my hair releasing the pain I have been fighting inside for so long. I missed this "happy place" I forgot it existed within me, I didn't think I could find it without Doug in my life, I didn't think I had it in me to be "centered" with out someONE as opposed to someTHING making me feel better.

And the tears that come out when there is only pain....tonight brought me peace instead...

September 16, 2010

Welcome to Fall

Another summer has come, shared her immense beauty with us, and is now packing her bags. As we enter into the fall season remember that this is a wonderful time to deepen your yoga practice.

The days become shorter, encouraging us to become more introspective. The temperature becomes cooler allowing us to explore our own internal radiant fire with more gusto. The air is crisper and cleaner allowing us to practice our pranayama techniques with new vigor...

Although it is often hard to say goodbye to summer, each season, (yes even winter) brings with it a chance of renewal and excitement. May you find this approaching season filling you with purpose and joy......

"Summer is already better, but the best is autumn.
It is mature, reasonable and serious, it glows
moderately and not frivolously ... It cools down,
clears up, makes you reasonable ...
- Valentin