09 December, 2012

Be comfortable with your own mess

Today was Gentle Yoga with Elizabeth McElveen.

Near the start of class, we were doing some opening Cat/Cow and Spinal Balance. This always hurts my palms or my knees, so I decided to make a modification. But it wasn't a modification to the pose. It was a modification to my situation. I rolled the edges of my mat inward, to provide extra cushioning. This isn't neat, and this isn't easy to get organized. But it doesn't need to be. And after the pose is over, the towel ends up sort of disarranged. And it occurred to me, I have a bit of an OCD thing going with arrangement of things. I like my mat and towel perfectly perpendicular. I like the towel to stay down flat and not get bunched up. I like the mat to be perfectly aligned with the wooden planks on the floor. I like to make sure that when I sit on my mat, I am not rotated to the left or to the right, even a few degrees.

But I think it is time to get comfortable with my own mess. Because life is going to be messy. And sometimes, the most important thing is not how neat, organized, aligned, your "stuff" is, but how aligned you feel on the inside. And this means (for me) that it's important to let that go. Be okay with it.

Elizabeth teaches Gentle Yoga. But she even acknowledged that there's often other words to describe her classes. They can be quite intense, and physical. Instead of moving through poses with velocity, throwing our bodies around, we perform those same poses, but hold in the positions, and experiencing the depth, and the smoothness of a transition, rather than flow, flow, flow.

Continuing to learn a lot from her.

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