18 May, 2012

Now here

Today was Class 1 of the Port Townsend "City of Dreams" Yoga Retreat with Cassandra.

The first day of the first retreat of my life. It was also, I learned, the first day of the first retreat of Cassandra's, as a teacher. We started class with an introduction around the room. There are 11 of us. We each had an opportunity to say a little about why we were here. I generally have no problem with such things. I don't freeze up. And I usually don't even try to plan my words, because I know that once my mouth opens, something acceptable will come out. But when it came my turn, I guess I felt like I slightly understated just how much it means for me to be a part of this. Blah blah blah. What I said was fine, but I felt like it could have been more precisely what I felt. You know how it is with these things?

We started a 90 minute class with the 10 minutes of introductions, followed by about 15 minutes of guided meditation. At the very beginning of class, Cassandra had a new tidbit to read to us. One that I'd never heard her read before. Joy. I love that newness of perfect words never before heard.

Google informs me that the quote is from Baron Baptiste:

""Now here" or "nowhere." Interesting, isn't it, how 

the only difference, really, is a little extra space.
All LIFE happens in the present moment. All we 
really have is right now, in front of us. Any moment 
that happened in the past is a memory, and any 
moment that will happen in the future is a fantasy. 
Memories and fantasies can be very nice, but they 
lead us nowhere except in the past, which no longer 
exists, or the future, which doesn't exist yet. The 
past and future are not places. They are, essentially, 
NOWHERE. So you see, you are either NOW 
HERE or NOWHERE!"

How could I have never heard that, or thought of it, before today? So obvious, but so perfect. 

Class was not hot. There was no heat. It was a warm room. I started with no towel on the mat, but realized soon that my mat is a little slippery in Downward Dog, without a towel, even when dry. So I had to add the towel back. But then, interestingly, because I wasn't sweating much, the towel wasn't adhering to the mat like it usually does. Tiny adjustments. You get so used to your own studio, it is almost like your own body. And going to another studio is almost like doing yoga in another body. Well, not quite.

The series were not as intense as typical classes, but we still managed to have some good flows, and I broke a pretty serious sweat through some Half Moon poses. But there was a lot of deeper, slower poses that felt calming. The room was large windows, bright light coming in, light-colored hardwood floors. Such a different setting than the caves where we normally practice. Again, that different energy. Plus, you know you are somewhere different, somewhere special. A place that only a select few chose to be.

The first half hour of class was pretty emotional, listening to people introduce themselves. There was a sense of deep connectedness and community. I found myself getting a little teary, just feeling the enormity of what it means to be able to be at a yoga retreat, practicing with people who are of like mind, and who share at least some of the values and desires I do.

The thoughts are a bit scattered.


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