Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Back to the mat.

Yesterday I found my way back to yoga after months of absence. I spent weeks telling myself that this would be the week I'd start attending regular classes.  It didn't happen. I wanted to go, but I didn't want to have to go to that first class. I didn't want to hear the "oh where have you been? we missed you" line from my instructors and classmates. I didn't want to hear the moans and groans from my body saying the exact same thing. I didn't want to feel the guilt of not having made this a priority.
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Despite scheduling mishaps, emotional breakdowns, and all of life getting very much in the way, I went yesterday morning. I'd say I was welcomed back with open arms, but it was even more than that. It was like I'd never left.

I parked in my usual parking spot, took the walk through downtown, put my keys on a hook and signed in. I said quiet hellos to the other students and the instructor while setting up my mat and blankets for class. There was no where have you been. There was no we missed you. As we chatted, I found myself spewing excuses as to why I hadn't been there until I realized they didn't care. They didn't care because they weren't looking to judge my absence, but instead they were there to just be there with me, to enter into our practices together.

Via Pinterest
In that space with those people, there is no judgment and no expectations. There are no mirrors to show me that I don't look nearly as graceful as I feel. There is nothing but acceptance. Acceptance for who we are and where we are. There's no success or failure.

If I took months off of running and tried to run my regular route, I would be met with screaming lungs and an angry body. I wouldn't be able to finish. I love to run, but there is something about yoga that feels like a warm blanket wrapping my body in the comfort of itself. Settling my mind, I can listen to my body. I can feel that hamstring I tweaked on my long run, but it doesn't scream. It doesn't keep me from my practice, instead it brings intention to it. Whether it's a good day or a bad day, in yoga my body and my mind are able to find each other. On the mat, it's not about what I can or cannot do. It's simply about being there.

And that is why I'll be working to make yoga as intentional a part of my training and my life as running.

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