25 January, 2013

Message of the week: Expect the unexpected

The last three classes on my calendar were "planned" well in advance, eager to arrive after a week and a half away from the yoga studio:  Elizabeth McE on Tuesday, Carley on Wednesday, and Elizabeth T on Friday. As life would have it, not-a-one of those panned out as "planned." Tuesday was Pat, a teacher who was subbing from another studio, Wednesday was Tina T, and Friday was Michelle, teaching her first official class at Be Luminous. It wasn't what I had been expecting, but it was still yoga. In fact, maybe it was even more yoga than had it been the teachers I was "expecting," because there can be an element of "entertainment" when taking a class with a teacher who you're particularly excited to see. In some way, the focus can shift to what they're saying, and all of the emotional elements that get triggered by the connections we feel to people. While that is inspirational, and makes class a joy, it can sometimes actually take me out of the yoga, out of your body. These consecutive surprises this week served to really anchor me to the all-important "This is what is happening" mindset, and just get on the mat, down to business, and be inside my body.

This whole week has been plagued by the low energy that comes from jet lag. Leaping fifteen hours ahead has resulted in my being awake for nearly the entire night, the last three nights, only truly hitting a deep sleep, unfortunately, in the morning hours, and then sleeping right through my alarm, arriving late at work every day this week. It's a luxury that I can do that without someone cracking a whip on me. It's also a luxury that I can still show up and do my yoga, albeit with my engines running barely at "impulse power" (a reference only meaningful to Star Trek fans).

Lately, I have had several people ask me what it is about yoga that makes me so attracted to it. It would be easy to rattle off a list of 5-10 things that are all significant. But there's one thing that I try to offer, when I want to drive home a point that will hopefully "stick," without having my audience tune out, or think I am getting all woo-woo. That one thing is "Yoga has helped me to realize that any change that's worth happening in life is going to happen gradually." I shared this with someone today who was, on the one hand, telling me how great it was that I do yoga but, on the other hand, saying she could never do it herself. That's exactly how I used to feel, as you've heard me say before. I was "too tight" to do yoga. I am still tight, but now I have a much better understanding of how I am tight, and how I am not tight.

A year ago, I would have been awfully frustrated with showing up for a yoga class and having a different teacher than I expected to have. I would have probably thought "Why should we have to be putting up with this?" if the class were harder, hotter, more confusing, or whatever the case may be. The gradual change that's come about over the past year is that I no longer have those attachments to expectation. I can still become excited about the prospect of a class, or whatever it may be. But that anticipation doesn't interfere as much with my experiencing of the reality of the situation when it arrives.

I'll tell you a bit more about that when I talk about the Similan Islands.

No comments:

Post a Comment