Sunday, July 26, 2009
Okay, so I went to yoga class today. I know. I can't believe it either. I'd been threatening to go ever since I read my lovie Kim's new novel, Stretch Marks. Her characters were all kinds of fabulous: yoga doing and health food eating. One of them dyed her hair wild colors. I read that book and the next thing I knew I had red and blonde hair. What can I say? Books influence me. I just thank God I don't have a uterus anymore, otherwise I'd probably be pregnant right now!
And really, I tried yoga because I've grown weary of these body challenges I have. I don't have insurance, and the over the counter medication isn't very helpful anymore. I decided to do whatever I can to feel a little better, including eating better (OY! The number on the scale now!), using homeopathic remedies, and doing gentle exercise. I practiced yoga in my twenties, and I enjoyed it very much. So, I thought I'd go back to it.
I tried to get Abbie to go with me, but she was having nothing to do with anything that sounded remotely like a workout. I did managed to talk Nia Grace into it, and I was proud of her because her sister went to a birthday party. She could have easily chose to do that, but no. She wanted to go with mama. So, we dropped Aziza off to her princess party, and off we went.
The studio was located inside a lovely little storefront, right next to Cold Stone Creamery, and y'all know that ain't right! But we did not go for ice cream. Oh no! We charged into the the yoga joint, me mustering all the resolve I had.
The interior was lovely. The walls were a reddish/orange color, and everything in there was soothing, and stipped down to the essentials. I liked the vibe already.
We were about five minutes late. The door to the main floor of the studio had a sign on it that said, "Shhhh. Class is session," or something like that, which intimidated us. Nia and I stood in the reception area, alone, for the longest time trying to figure out what to do. I was tempted to just turn around and go home. After all, I didn't have on a cute yoga outfit, just sweats (a little small for me now) and a sleeveless t-shirt. I'm obese, and hadn't done yoga since the eighties. Seriously. What was I thinking? But I have to get over being self-absorbed, and do what my body needs to get better, as much as I can.
I cracked the door, and a man met us. He whispered when he asked me if I'd done yoga before, and if Nia would need a mat. Yes, a long time ago, and yes. He gave Nia a mat, and we quietly went inside, rolled out our sticky mats, and began.
Holy guacamole! I thought I was gonna die in there! I stretched muscles that haven't been moved in the 21st century. Oh man. Am I ever out of touch with my body. I was surprised to find I couldn't do relatively simple moves. I've lost so much of the abilitity to balance myself. And doesn't that show??? Don't miss the layers of meaning in the idea of being balanced. While we stretched, a lot of things occured to me. I knew I wasn't always the way I am now.
My mind flew back through the years, and I remembered a time when I didn't hate my body, when I wasn't afraid of it, and when I was simply who I am: not "too much." Not too little, either! Some twenty years ago, maybe more, I made my body my enemy. As I moved from pose to pose, memories of the abuse came back: physical, mental, emotional, and sexual. The raging bulimia I had revisited me. Sadness rose to my throat like vomit used to. I realized I stopped trusting my body so long ago. I disconnected from it. Stopped caring about it. I abused it. And now, it suffers. And like the rest of me, it craved love and respect.
I got discouraged. I wanted to run out of there. Everyone else seemed so serene. So capable. But I suppose one must have courage to do many things in life, especially change. I breathed back the tears threatening to pour out of me. Returned to the child's pose when I had to. I humbled myself, and I soldiered on.
Every now and then I'd peek at Nia, quietly moving from pose to pose. What a doll she is. She was a real trouper, doing yoga like she was made for it.
At the end of the class we were silent, all of us, lying in the corpse pose. My mind ran amuk! Dear Lord, I'm noisy on the inside. And there I was, in a darkened room confronting silence. God had been calling me to silence for months. What a surprise to find it there. But God met me in that place of repose, Himself silent, but there He was with me. I felt Him, and knew He honored my effort. His presence was like a gentle, "Yes." One yes is all you need sometimes.
When it was time to go we sat upright. We put our hands together near our hearts. "Namaste", we said with a tiny bow in parting, which means "I honor the divine in you." And I see it lovies. God is generous enough to give Himself to all of us. We are made in His image and likess. He did this for every human. No matter what we believe. And isn't that magnificent?