Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Solid As A Rock!

Today I had an extremely emotional day, so by the time I got home I knew that I had to take it all in and just be with it.  The first thing I said to myself was "take it to the mat Ellyn!"  Before I got on the mat I decided to go to my car to get my ipod.  I wanted to have some music going, to ensure that I would get outside of my head and just be in my body and practice.  I have this thing for walking around barefoot.  I jokingly call myself a shoe whore because I love cute shoes, but I truly love to be barefoot as much as possible.  As soon as I step foot outside of my apartment door, I planted it on a small sharp shard of glass.  Thank God yoga has rendered me flexible enough to bring my foot up high enough to remove the glass.  After the bleeding stopped and the pain subsided, I got on my mat.  I had my play list going and started sun salutations. Before I could get to the salutations I started sobbing uncontrollably.  I tried to push through it and do my sun salutations, but at the top of every push-up the sobbing took over my breathing.  My mind started to race.  Why couldn't I be still?  Why couldn't I just get through this?  Why couldn't I just practice and flow and let go?  I searched my mind for a book with postures for depression or a gentle practice like I had during another really emotional period but nothing came to me.  I released myself from plank and found myself in sobbing child's pose.  "How is crying, doing yoga?" I said to myself! "This isn't yoga...."  Or so I thought!  So many things can come up during yoga. We normally think of the physical things like tight muscles or mental things like the thoughts that won't go away.  But crying on the mat?  What's up with that?  It's really not much different from wandering thoughts that come relentlessly.  Except of course the loud belly shaking sobs.  But today for me, this became my yoga.  I stayed on the mat.  I continued to cry and then, I stood up.  That's when a lightbulb came on. I was in tadasana (mountain).  It was just yesterday in my yoga workshop that we practiced a meditation in mountain pose.  I stood tall, noticed my breath.  I noticed the tension in my body, I allowed it to relax.  I felt my tailbone drop like there was a weight hanging off of it.  The curve in my lower back became more natural and less exaggerated.  I relaxed my shoulders away from my ears and I continued to breathe.  I inhaled my abdomen and kept a slight bend in my knees.   I lifted my toes and planted my feet firmly into the mat, pressing through all four corners of each foot.  I felt firmly grounded, completely rooted and solid in my posture.  I was a mountain.  Sometimes animals make their homes in mountains (animals of fear, hurt, anger, pain, desire, vice), mountains have to adjust to all climates (emotions),  people walk on and climb mountains (sometimes people don't behave in the ways we would like and sometimes they walk all over us, but still the mountain stands firm).  Sometimes the mountain is snow covered (we may not be able to see what's in front of us with clarity but know that it is just beyond our sight and in time it will be revealed). Sometimes rivers run through mountains (just like my tears, and mountains just allow the rivers to flow and so must I).   Tonight this was my yoga.  This was my mountain pose, this was my saving grace.

This is yoga on the mat!


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