Sunday, June 16, 2013

Look! A bird!

I hit the pillow Tuesday night late enough that I couldn’t move Wednesday for a 5 am run.  No matter…I needed the extra rest for my evening yoga teacher training.  My four hour evening classes absolutely challenge the body.  We’re not positioning ourselves into difficult poses or standing on our heads.  We spend at least one hour sitting on the unforgiving floor observing our teacher and the practitioners she’s instructing.  Sitting tall for five minutes can be exhausting.  So, Wednesday, by the nature of my schedule and the tasks as hand, became a day of intense focus.  As some would say, I brought my ‘A’ game.  This work day of extreme energy draw slowly chipped away at my my soul.  My polished look gave the illusion of an orderly character gliding through just another day. 

I dashed home forty minutes before my yoga class to change, gather my materials and pack a light dinner.  My overflowing, backbreaking bag contained two anatomy books, one binder, one notebook, a hardbound Ashtanga yoga practice book, the Yoga Sutras, a yoga strap and some deodorant (random, yes).  With that bag slung over my quivering shoulder, I grabbed my mat, water bottle, lunch bag and a hoodie as I made my way to the car.  I barreled in the front seat trying to navigate my crap to the passenger side (with a few choice words).  Regardless of what was in store for class tonight, I could use the change of pace.  I drove to the studio with the sunroof open while blasting Foo Fighters.  (GREAT, GREAT SONG…btw

Get this (Mary Remy shout out): I clumsily enter the building being sure to bang my water bottle against the door frame.  Some of the students, already piled in the office, engaged in whispering discussions about the evening’s agenda.  Apparently, without previous knowledge, we would be charged with teaching a portion of a class.  Each student would be given a series of postures to demonstrate and lead the class through.  Oh those poor unsuspecting people!  I was not phased by our task since I had been comfortably leading classes for about 7 years, or so, but some of the other students were absolutely thrown for a loop.  Once given their list of poses, some women furiously flipped the pages of their practice book for further insight.  I sympathized with them; I had been nervous once before. 

The usual class (held at 5:45 pm) was lightly attended, so our teacher asked us to fill in the blank spots and take the class when we weren’t teaching our sequence.  YAY!!!  Normally, Wednesday’s are spent sitting on my butt watching everyone else practice.  I could absolutely use the extra quiet time to assist in my unwinding.  I rolled out my mat with a smile on my face and stood tall.  Throughout the class, I paid attention to the placement of my feet and my gazing points (drishti).  Sweat poured down my face as I floated into Virabhadrasana B.  AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH.  Exactly what I was looking for.  Slowly, the thoughts of that day escaped my conscious; I practiced in the present.  My series of poses called for a few inversions near the tail end of the class sequence.  I stepped off my mat to position myself in front of the room and started the instruction.  After leading the group, I quietly stepped back to my mat for the finishing postures. 

A few minutes later I was lying on my back with my head comfortably resting on the mat.  My eyes closed.  Not a care in the world.  The present seemed to drift away.  I was there and no where.  For a quick moment, I thought of my beautiful girls.  Surely it was close to their bed time.  I ran through a quick check – yup, there are clean jammies for the hubbs; yup, they’re put away, so they’ll be easy to find; well, if he has trouble Ava knows.  OH SHIT!  (eyes open wide) I FORGOT TO GET DIAPERS.  CRAP.  SHIT.  OH SHIT.  That was the end of my Savasana.  The focus was gone.  I couldn’t transition back to that place in space.  The final student helped the group bring awareness back to their bodies.  I was already there.  She slowly guided our minds back to the present.  I was painfully there.  She directed us to a seated position, whereas I was already out the door with my mind.  With my legs in full lotus I sat tall and dropped my chin towards my throat.  My hands rested on my knees, palms facing up.  I took a deep breath and practically giggled as I let it out realizing that I can’t be in control of everything.  People need to be let go to make decisions on their own.  I do find it amusing that I did everything in my power to control that day only to lose it during a time where I needed to be accepting of myself.  Touché universe.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Space Cadet

It's a challenge returning to work on a Monday, especially after a great weekend. As the days get longer, I'm a little more relaxed, generally speaking. Oftentimes, I use the extra daylight to procrastinate regular tasks such as putting the kids to bed at a decent hour. We spend more time outside playing and just being free. A working Monday will change all that with the shock of an alarm clock. This past Monday was no different.
I continue to shuffle through every work day with a slow progression to the weekend. Yoga Wednesday is the longest day of the week for me. I spend a full day at work then zip to my four hour yoga teacher training class. Some days I'm not sure how I function, but I just train myself to do it.
I sat in on an interesting work conversation today, Yoga Wednesday. The meeting conversation, held over lunch, focused primarily on the environment of a computer application. I won't bore you with all the details, but the gist of the conversation was between two technical resources. They discussed space. Simply, in order to run an effective environment enough space must be allocated to store the data. This will result in efficient processes and computing all the while maintaining optimal performance. That's the simple explanation.
These two gentlemen carried on a sidebar about the amount of space, price of space, availability of space and the reallocation of space. All this space, mind you, is completely virtual. For a while, I couldn't believe the topic. It all seemed surreal. We were actually talking about space. It started to make my head hurt. At some point, I believe that I went deaf as my eyesight started to fade. Hours after the meeting, my eyeballs throbbed. I stopped home before class to remove my contacts.I forgot to take ibuprofen before leaving. I prayed my visual aches wouldn't advance.
Tonight's class topic was yoga pose cueing. We were called on to make observations of the 'key components' in certain poses to help structure a verbal cue or provide direction to a student. For example, when standing at the top of the mat, the instructor should kindly remind the student to ground their feet into the mat and to stand tall by lifting though the crown of the head. These two verbal assists could be a world of change for a practitioner. As we continued the round table, we started talking about the importance of the breath and how it's used to create space. Hmmm, space again? Taking a deep breath will create some space in the back and help release any tension in that area. Now this is the kind of space I can work with.
We indirectly practiced space creation with students by helping them relax into poses and also by helping them breathe by offering gentle reminders or putting our hands on them to feel their breathing.
I can see both the lack of and the gain of this space. I can help create this space. Oh, and did I mention, this space is free. I can get this space whenever I want. This space absolutely helps me tolerate work conversations about THAT space.

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