I grab the yoga mat I inherited from Linda Esser and head out the door in her yoga pants. I only used them for lounging until now. It feels weird to be in public in lounge pants.
The Heart Center Studio is my third ever Yoga class. It’s my first time to experience it as a blend of body-mind with meditative reading and music. A myriad of physical and emotional responses arise. I’m glad Jennifer starts us with the Child’s Pose that comes naturally though I never learned it before. It’s interesting that some personal intuitive practices are Yoga.
Jennifer reads beautifully inspiring words.
What if our religion was each other
If our practice was our life
If prayer, our words
What if the temple was the Earth
If forests were our church
If holy water—the rivers, lakes, and ocean
What if meditation was our relationships
If the teacher was life
If wisdom was self-knowledge
If love was the center of our being. ~ Ganga White
This is what I imagined yoga would be, the integration of physical and spiritual practices. I was inspired by the movie AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda. It gave me a better understanding. Yoga is about preparing the body for meditation, to become a clear channel for Divine Inspiration and finding my personal guru within.
Waves of thoughts and emotions roll through me. Jennifer suggests a return to the Child’s Pose if needed. Ah! Safety is always encouraged. I watch and imitate as best I can, but don’t stay in sync with the class. During a movement she says, “…if it is available to you today…” and likewise honors herself.
As my face comes downward on Linda’s mat I notice an automatic thought flash. Linda loved yoga, but it didn’t heal her, she still died at 50. Tears spurt out my eyes and I mentally tap, embracing and releasing the emotions.
Jennifer names and guides us into familiar poses. I learned them with another friend on her Wii in 2010 when she could still stand, albeit wobbly. Now she is confined to a wheelchair. On a recent visit she spelled out on her alphabet board “Diagnosis Terminal.” Yoga didn’t heal her or Steve Jobs either.
What else could I do for three years disabled except become body-mind aware while living from a reclining position? My awareness now is on grateful amazement. Years after recovery I am able to flow with Yoga for 45 minutes before I need a break to check in with myself. I’m here to learn Yoga because I’ve healed with the mind-body work of FasterEFT. I can integrate yoga with my skills and go deeper to release mental/emotional connections that arise.
A large plaque in the corner reads, “I will hold myself to a standard of Grace not perfection.” I feel fresh air blowing in and from a different position in the room notice the five-panel mural stretched across the wall. Each panel is integrated with a beautiful image of an expansive tree against my beloved colors. It reminds me of the Tree Metaphor we use in FasterEFT.
Jennifer invites the class back to the Child’s Pose, and I notice it’s safe to return to my mat. I continue with what feels safe but expands my body-mind-spirit. The grateful joy that spontaneously washed over me near the beginning of class returns for an encore. Finally, I have found my way to a safe yoga home. http://www.heartcenterstudio.com
© Copyright B. Grace Jones 2015 All Rights Reserved.