12 July, 2013

Settling In

Today was Flow Yoga with Lola Christina at Passion Of Movement in Lahaina, Maui.

Once again, I had the good fortune of a class so small it may as well have been a private. It was just me, Lola, and one other experienced yogini named Courtney. This class was called Flow Level 2-3, and it was quite comparable to many of the classes I have taken in Seattle. While we didn't move quickly, we moved with much intensity and vigor. There were lots of core engaging sequences, bringing knee-to-nose, to elbow, etc. We had many twists, and spent a fair amount of time in chair pose. What was interestingly absent from the class were the Warrior poses. No Warrior I, II, or Triangle, or Pyramid. Though we did play with headstands and handstands from tripod and against the wall, respectively.

Lola was a pretty specific teacher with lots of cues about the poses that were catered to what she saw us doing, and that was nice. Instruction is a good thing. Even though it is not a heated studio, and could not have been much over 80 degrees, I was absolutely pouring sweat from the intensity of the class. It was a good balance of stretching mixed in with the more intense poses.

I came to understand that this is a very new studio, and that some of the teachers have clearly only been here a few weeks. I am lucky to have the opportunity and timing to experience it. One hopes that they build a clientele quickly, because so far it looks like they're probably not operating at a profit.

When I arrived yesterday, I immediately went into that tentative mode of not knowing what to do with myself out here all alone. Yesterday's class slowly started dropping me into myself again. I am not flailing. Being away on my own is not a catastrophe, nor is it life-threatening. When Patty was sitting with us in Savasana last night, she stated the 5 "yamas" according to Patanjali. The fifth one was "non-grasping" - there are probably a few different ways of referring to it or translating it. But those words resonated for me. My first reaction when put into an uncomfortable situation is to grasp. It's like a struggle in a fear of some type of emotional drowning. But it's all imagined. It's not happening. What's happening is that I am sitting, on the ground, in my body. To an outside observer, this appears as "peace," and it is only inside the mind that there is a storm.

One thing I know, though, and I have written about it in a previous entry, is that connection, above all other things, is what drives me. I spend so much time berating myself for how important this is to me, but I ask myself now, why is it such a bad thing? Connection can be a gift to others as well, so long as it comes from a place of truth. Non-grasping.

Immediately upon starting to form connections here, even these brief ones via the yoga studio, I started to feel better. I have yet to understand if I am just avoiding myself, or if I am accepting myself as a being who thrives on connection. I don't think I am going to figure it out overnight.

And that's okay.

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