It’s mid-afternoon, and I just finished “Morning Yoga to Start Your Day.”
Some days start harder than others. Especially Mondays.
Some days you wake up and shower and get dressed and go downtown for breakfast and then when you come back home, your brain goes blank and you can’t remember how to think or work or do anything and you just crash.
So that’s when you finally break out the Yoga Mat of Good Intentions that’s been sitting unopened in your closet for a few months, kick the coffee table out of the way, light a few candles, and start your day again.
Even if it’s the middle of the afternoon.
Sometimes I forget to take care of my body.
My body says, “Please stop. I’m tired. I want to eat green things. I want water. I want sleep.”
I say, “No! It’s Friday! We’re going out. We’re going to have cheeseburgers and fries and movie theatre popcorn. We’re going to smoke cigarettes and drink beer and whiskey. We’re going to stay up till 3:00 a.m. And if you complain, I’m just going to give you coffee.”
I’m not super great at yoga.
When I’m supposed to gracefully bend at the waist and exhale toward my feet, my hands reach awkwardly to about my knees.
What I love about yoga, though, is the invitation to take off all the layers of personality and identity and responsibility that I carry around every day, and spend a few minutes as simply a human body.
I don’t think that I need reminders to literally breathe, but as the instructor says to inhale exhale inhale exhale, I find myself remembering, “Oh yeah. I guess that is something I’m supposed to do, isn’t it? I kinda forgot.”
“Notice your toes,” she says.
“Oh yeah. I have toes, don’t I? Hello, toes.”
“Feel the joints in your your shoulders,” she says. And for the first time today, I actually pay attention to my shoulders as part of my miraculous moving human organism, not just the source of some dull ache that I’ve been trying to ignore.
And slowly, as I breathe in and out, I come back inside. Out of the world, out of my head, and back into my body.
Today during yoga, I offered some apologies to my body.
As I gently stretched my arms and lengthened my legs and noticed my toes and my shoulders, I whispered, “I’m sorry for feeding you only garbage and cigarettes and beer all weekend.”
Somewhere between downward-facing dog and namaste, my human creature body and I found reconciliation with one another. I promised to treat it better, and it reminded me that it loves me and it just wants me to be well.
It was a reconciliation I hadn’t even know I’d needed.
published October 5, 2015
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