In interest of doing as as I say, and not as I more often do, I planned to arise this morning, as early as my body allowed. Having gone to bed later than has become my usual recently, this was a task rather than an immediate joy, but one I told myself was needed. As I had to pee anyway, it seemed a good chance to meander a bit to the right through one door rather than left back into the bedroom.
Through door number two is my Narnia; this would be called a home office by most. To me, it is a very miniature yoga space, writing space, and reading room. I have my desk, desk chair, yoga mats, strap and block, book shelves, reading chair and a whole mish-mash of other stuff:laundry racks, shoe rack, and, naturally my rollerskates. I claimed this space immediately after my previous roommate left, but it has gone largely unused…except for as the ever popular storage of recyclables the city doesn’t take.
I am fortunate to have this space, and I know this. It is rare, in a 2 bedroom basement suite to have such a thing; this is probably my favorite room and the best thing in this rather nutty living environment.
Starting down the yoga pathway again is something I have procrastinated and procrastinated. I can’t explain the reason. It is just one of those many things that I just never get around to, and not because of busyness. I don’t have that excuse in my life. Whatever else it might be, it is something that I know is good for me in a multitude of ways, yet….
After all that has been going through my mind and coming up in my body, I thought yoga needed to come back. It is a very attentive and truly mindful process if practiced with intention. In the past, yoga has been tipped more into the “exercise with benefits” side of my brain, but now I am wanting to approach it with the balance shifted. Many people may jump on this bandwagon and others scorn the “trendy” nature, yet at the heart of it all, yoga is sought out because people are looking for something more than just a good sweat. Anyone who has ever done it with willingness understands its transformative capacities.
I love the guidance of a gentle voice and have always been really taken with the first and only dvd I’ve ever connected with. Hilariously enough, it is called, “Yoga for Weight Loss.” That certainly was my original intention years ago when I 1st got my sister to burn me a copy.
I have used it on and off ever since. I have also done classes including Bikram’s(that is a whole other side story, but I liked it way more than I thought I would. Actually, to be honest, I thought I would hate it, so I was very pleasantly surprised).
I haven’t attended a class in many years. I have found teachers and classes that I have connected to and felt safe in and with and I have had the complete opposite. I have finally learned to trust and respect myself enough when it comes to this particular practice, regardless of what anyone might say: if I, for whatever reason, am not benefiting from a particular class, I will find another one. I know I don’t like to be scolded, and this has happened to me. I don’t like to be barked at or demeaned in any way. There are plenty of opportunities in life that I must deal with such situations, but in the realm of the physical, in a state so vulnerable and so hard to keep open, I cannot allow a teacher or situation that is counterproductive to my purposes.
I base my decisions on energy flow. I am now fully understanding that. And I almost immediately sense what kind of situation I am going into. For example, there was a professional dancer in my beginner’s hip hop class. Before she even danced, this was apparent upon her entrance. Her posture, her gait. Her clothes might have been a clue, except a lot of people run out and buy full gear of whatever sports activity they’re taking part in to look legit, so that would be no clear indicator. However, once the dancing began, it was evident this gal was no beginner anything. When it comes down to it, despite her arrogant demeanour and impatience, this was just another person looking for an ego boost; feeling inadequate and putting herself purposely in a situation where inevitably she would look better than everyone except the teacher. I felt badly for her, because she was missing out on real learning and paying to do it.
It doesn’t take much for me to pick up on vibes. I have heard quite a lot that I am “paranoid” and “jump to conclusions.” I am not suggesting I’m never wrong, I am not suggesting that these are “bad” people and that I couldn’t learn from them in other ways, even in my own future perhaps. What I know is that I read situations and people well generally (whether I listen to myself and heed what I sense is a whole other ball of wax); I have worked on these sensory abilities. We all have them; I am more preternaturally inclined because my life situations have required it be so; with so many precarious, unpredictable and potentially dangerous circumstances to navigate through, starting in early life, a person can get very skilled. With someone around you who lies chronically, you begin to understand the language of lying; it has its own pace and rhythm, it’s own behavior and body. This is just one example of training ground and it created my interest in human psychology, which lead to my degree, which enhanced my writing.
What this doesn’t help me with is how to use this information at large. It doesn’t give me any sort of edge in terms of social skills or keeping my head on straight throughout human interaction in general. Arguably, I might create more life chances by taking my sensing of things and then carrying on rather than getting fearful and removing myself from it but that wasn’t what I had to do for years, and so I’ve never learned how to do that often.
Sometimes stepping out and away is a very valid choice but it needs to be made in conversation between instinct/intuit and other consciousness. As I said, when it comes to physical activity choices, I am very confident I have made the right decisions, more often than not, for my learning style and character. I have always found better-suited teachers and environments. Every time.
So for me, yoga alone is still a wonderful possibility. It allows me to open up into the room and more importantly right now, it gives me a chance to focus on the sensations, particularly at the end when lying still on the floor. Where is my tension? Where is there discomfort? Come back to this. My mind wants to go away.
I know where these struggles are. I know I carry my stress in my belly and in my upper back and shoulders. I am particularly knotted in these areas, and when I try to release the tension, I can feel an increase in the tightness. This is what being “uptight” really means. I have certainly heard that before. Cold, frigid, aloof, uptight. None of these are true or utterly untrue. What isn’t understood is that it isn’t a matter of simple decision to just relax and go with it. It is years and years of containment that cannot be undone after one yoga or even 100 yoga sessions or even the most well- intentioned and loving offerings of affection. It cannot be undone when the person involved is unaware of why it is what it is and how to undo it.
When your body knows shielding and hiding as the go to setting in particular types of seemingly threatening circumstances, there isn’t any amount of talking your way through it quickly, especially not at the end of the scorn and shame stick. I can’t explain, but I know it is quite a powerful force to be reckoned with.
All of that being said, I am coming back again to yoga, I am keeping dance. I am looking for very direct and considerate body and not just talk therapies. I am all for beautiful outdoor activity of the vigorous kind, but for me there is a clear distinction in purpose at the moment; it will change.
I am seeking quiet. I am wanting space for whatever happens in this place to be free to come out; if this means screaming, sobbing, wailing, laughing uproariously, howling…whatever it may be, it needs to know that it is o.k. to do it.