I set the alarm last night thinking I probably wouldn’t to it. Up too late writing wild. Too tired. I don’t usually follow through. The alarm was a half-assed thought, really. Another way, maybe, to feel badly about myself for not doing what I say I will do.
But when it was time, and the alarm sounded – 5:15 am, full on darkness. I did it. I got up. and I got dressed. and I found my way to the car and to the studio and to the mat while most of the city slept.
Grounding down and rising in warrior and twisting and lengthening and growing into self. Balancing and focusing and rising. Vertebrae on top of vertebrae. Fold. Rise. Let go. Inhale to lengthen, exhale to twist or fold or go deeper.
If the breath is lost, no matter how perfect the pose – you’ve lost your way.
Ujai pranayama. Opening my throat and becoming one with the sound of the ocean that unceasingly calls me home.
Rest now. Go to the mat. Breathe your way back.
No matter what, you can always go back to the mat.
Two years it has been. Two years away. Two years without bending and stretching and connecting to breath. Two years commuting in traffic. Two years at a desk, in a cubical, separated from purpose and self. Two years of contraction. As I find my way back to mat, I find my way back to self.
The flexibility and strength will take a while, but my body remembers. Our bodies always remember – it is only our minds that forget. With yoga, it’s never been about pushing my body to do what it cannot do, but rather giving myself the space and the grace to allow it to do what it can.
Sometimes, I think, this is the embodiment of freedom. Familiar sanskrit fills my ears, muscles move into poses without conscious thought. Not as elegant or powerful as before. But elegant and powerful and comparison to past have never been the point of practice.
Lay down in savasana, now. There is nothing more to do. Legs fall open, Palms up. Eyes closed.
Continue that same breath. It is what connects you to all things.
There is nowhere else to be but here.
Open your eyes. see how the sky has turned the deep blue of beginnings?
This day is yours.
The class is silent, but I still hear it. Inside of me. The sound of the universe. The sound eternal. The vibration rises and rings. Three times, rolling through. Bones hum. Energy is gathered. Do you feel it?
om shanti, shanti shanti.
The light has risen. My body has settled into itself, and now I begin.