Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sweat Salutations

I was out with yoga friends a few weeks ago and confessed that I haven't done yoga in a year. The ones who were surprised looked at me like I had just admitted that I stopped brushing my teeth.

When asked why, I rattled off a list of excuses, some more valid than others, as a friend gave me the patient, almost bored, kind of skeptical of my bullshit look that yoga people give and immediately offered to eliminate every obstacle that he personally could, which left me with not enough excuses to continue not doing yoga. 

I returned yesterday, and the whole thing was so lovely and comfortable. From the building to the people to the smell of my mat to the unthinking fluidity of the movements. I felt strong and graceful and peaceful and challenged (but mostly only looked challenged, probably). 

I was able to breathe more deeply than I have in months, lying there in my puddle of sweat at the end. 


Perhaps power yoga in a heated room after a year of barely moving while not feeling well was overly ambitious, if not borderline suicidal. Maybe I was hoping that this would be it and everyone could say, "Well, she tried. At least she died doing what she loved," and the people who knew me best would know that was a lie and that chair pose finally killed me like I've always said it would. 

I used to help teach yoga for kids with severe autism and one of them would angrily mutter, "I HATE YOGA," before every class. 

I'd always assure him that I hated yoga some days too, but we were doing it anyway and would feel better for it later. 

And occasionally, if I asked him if he felt better afterwards, his "I HATE YOGA" would be a little less emphatic. That's the work. He's my yoga spirit animal and guru. We don't always have to like it, we just have to do it. 

So, anyway, I thought I kicked ass that day. Mostly. I did it. 

Then came today, and I can barely get off the toilet unassisted due to my shaking muscles. (Fucking chair pose.) 

But, as I ask my children when someone comes whining during a fight, did anyone die? 

No. I did not die. 


There's still tonight though. I don't know, I think a muscle spasm could possibly do me in or I could seize up and fall off the toilet and hit my head on the tile -- the danger hasn't passed yet. 

But my "I hate yoga" is quieter now. I won't want to go again but I will and I'll hate it less and less until I realize I'm lucky to know it and have it and everyone and everything that goes with it. 

Everything but chair pose. 

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