I returned to the practice of yoga this morning. It’s been a long time. Like a year and a half. Why the break-up in the first place? Well, I went a little whonky.
Allow me to explain: one evening a couple of summers ago I was in a yoga class when the world tilted. No one else’s world tilted, only mine. By the time I got home the world began to tilt and spin. That’s not a happy sensation. I was diagnosed with viral labyrinthitis (which always makes me think of the classic David Bowie movie).
What the heck is viral labyrinthitis? Allow me to give you the LaNae version: we have fluid in the inner recesses of our ears. The flu or a bad cold can cause particles from the floor of that fluid-filled area to detach and float ’round in the fluid. So, if you move your head one direction, those floaties move the other direction and your head can’t figure out those conflicting messages. Thus…vertigo and dizziness.
Fun times. I felt like I was drunk (in a bad way) with no booze in my system.
Anyways, it took quite a while to get the floaties to settle down, and they occasionally still bash around in my noggin’, though never as severely as that first bout. I quit going to yoga first because it’s hard to down dog if it’s easy to fall over. Then, when I no longer was falling over I found myself paranoid. I knew that yoga did not cause the condition, but there’s that whole guilt-by-association thing.
Thus, time has passed and here we are today.
I’ve been thinking about returning to the practice for a while, but it was a conversation last week that compelled me into action. It was a discussion about exercise and my feelings that I “need” to go to the gym…even though I often don’t enjoy it. I was asked why I don’t, instead, pursue physical activities that I do enjoy. Yoga is one. Body Pump (which I’ve also not done in a very long time) is another. Walking and hiking. Biking (outdoors). Those are things I enjoy.
So, I found myself at the Yoga Loft at 7:30 this morning. The Loft is a beautiful studio: expansive hard-wood floors, high beamed ceilings, soothing lighting. I love that studio. It felt good to be back
Why do I like yoga? It’s actually not something most would expect me to enjoy. I’m not spiritual in the yoga way (more the Christian way), so some of the trappings that come with yoga are…well…a little hoo-hoo for me. But, I’m 5’8″. I have long legs and long arms. It just feels like a yoga body. It makes me feel strong. And, when I’m practicing regularly I have no problem standing on one leg to put on a shoe.
Yoga is also like riding a bike. I found myself falling easily back into modified sun salutation. I didn’t have to watch the instructor in response to her directions. I just went with the flow. Don’t get me wrong: the body said, “Oh, hey, it’s been a long time since you’ve tried to stretch all of this, huh?” But, it was good.
Now, I did notice a few slightly swirly moments, which was a bit discouraging. Obviously, the floatie fragments are somewhat stirred by certain movements. However, my hope is that if I take it easy that I may be able to build up some sort of floatie tolerance. Because I really want to do this on a regular basis.
There is one part of yoga that I struggle with: shavasana. Shavasana is the meditation done at the end of every yoga practice. It’s the time when you lay on the floor on your back and…meditate. Have you, perhaps, picked up on the fact that I have a hard time not doing anything? Being still? Right.
So, when it comes to the practice of yoga, I would be perfectly happy to finish the last pose, hop up and go on my way. Or, to have a 5 minute shavasana. However, the instructors at the Yoga Loft tend to allow anywhere from 20-30 minutes for shavasana.
It makes me twitchy.
I think, I making shopping lists. This morning I partially composed this post as I lay there.
And, in some classes? People fall asleep. During shavasana. Which is fine, except some of them snore. This is most-common in evening classes. Do you know how difficult it is to lay on the floor for 20 minutes listening to someone snore?
I would like to get to the point that I’m able to better clear my mind and cool my jets and to use shavasana for its intended purpose. Maybe someday I’ll get there.
One thing that really struck me this morning was the instructor telling us, at the beginning of class, that spring is a time of renewal. She used a butterfly as an example. That it’s first a caterpillar, then it forms a chrysalis and it emerges from that as a butterfly. She said the process isn’t always pretty and that it’s sometimes messy, but that there’s beauty in the end. That resonates with me, both from the standpoint of the practice of yoga and some general-life stuff going on. It resonates in a good way.
After class I headed to the Capitol grounds to take pictures of spring flowers. That’s where these photos were taken. It’s grey today. I managed to lock my keys in the trunk of my car and had to call the husband for a rescue, but there are worse things than being stuck outside with my camera, and the new Gwen Stefani album on my cell phone.
It’s good to be back to the somewhat-out-there-world of yoga. Obviously there’s a yogi in there somewhere, clawing to get out.