On my meditation retreat last fall, we had weekly yoga sessions. All new to me. And I did some basic stretches nearly every day. They sure helped me deal with the back realities of my yogi job – potwashing.
Now back in the world of Southern Ontario, I decided to take an introductory yoga class. It started last night.
There were about fifteen of us – mostly women, mostly folks in their 20’s and 30’s. Old memories of not liking my body and being un-fit dropped in to say hi throughout the evening. I decided to say hi back and let them be.
I’ve sure made some silly conclusions in my life:
I can’t squat
I have bad knees
If I do certain stretches, I’ll end up incapacitated for life
One of the first moves we did was simply standing on the mat, feet touching at the front and the back, pressing down with the balls and the heels, spreading the toes and then lifting them. How can that be hard? But it was. And here came my train of negative thoughts. “Hello again.”
Then there was standing with my left side to the wall, hand touching, grabbing my right ankle and bringing it up high on my left thigh, and then pressing everything inwards to keep the foot in position. Right hand eventually on my right thigh. “O wondrous imperfect one that you are, Bruce!” Thank goodness I could laugh at myself.
Late in our session, there I was – left foot against the baseboard, right foot flat on the mat at an “impossibly” long distance from the other. Hips pointing straight ahead, but moving my right toes outward at a 45 degree angle, then moving my heel in so that the foot was perpendicular to the left one, foot and knee pointing down the length of the mat. One of the assistants came by to help me with the alignment.
I looked at my twisted body in wonder. After all, “I have bad knees.” Or do I?
During the next eight weeks, I’ll be exploring what this body of mine is really about. Hmm … an adventure. I’m all for having lots of those.