on the mat is a state of mind
Last night was the first night of training, and it was stressful, to say the least. For all my thunder about not setting expectations, I was forced to confront a few right off the bat. My yoga was not perfect, my hips were crazy tight from four days in the car, I forgot my towel and my hands were all over the place. My head, however, was right there on my mat. I have no idea what anyone else in that room looked like, what they were doing, whether or not they were struggling too. It was almost like I was in that room by myself… with four teachers who offered plentiful adjustments.
But I got through the ‘I suck’ and the ‘you want me to put my hip where‘ and the alarming realization that I really had no idea how to updog, and I saw that I’m not terrible at yoga, but these teachers are AMAZING. Really incredible, cutting edge, on it, with it, in it, amazing. When I told her about it, a friend of mine said, ‘yeah, I bet those girls don’t fuck around.’ They most definitely do not.
And, WOW. This is why I couldn’t even conceive of how things were going to be here, because it is so much more that I could have imagined. We can only come up with what we already know, and I knew that say, Shiva Rea, does yoga like this, but me? Nah. But I said that I was tired of things in my life being medium, I wanted adventure and excitement, and I got it.
All of my OMG’s out of the way, I felt something I haven’t felt in a long, long time. The yogabuzz. My whole body was trembling – partially because my muscles were exhausted – but it was that electricity during savassana when you can feel every cell in your body, when you feel so completely alive. And that’s the energy you share when you do yoga, that’s the vibe that you put out, that’s what brings me back for more and more and more. Unfortunately, we had to talk about why we were there immediately after practice, and I know I blabbered, but I hope that I was at least funny, and I realized that I can’t hold back when it comes to yoga – it just forces things out. Sweat? Tears? Sure. Old habits, emotional baggage, outdated assumptions – most definitely. But for me, what won’t be kept in is the words. I can talk and write about yoga in a way that even I don’t understand sometimes. The words come from a place that I don’t even have to think about, they just flow out through my hands (and, if you’ve ever caught me after class, my mouth). And I love that, that flow. It’s as though the physical flow, the actual yoga that I do on my mat, encourages my creative flow, and simultaneously stems the flow of negativity that I subconsciously feed myself. Yoga is the regulatory force in my life, and I’m beginning to wonder how I ever lived without it.