Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sometimes you have to play without a sub....

On Sunday at my daughter's soccer game, half the team was absent, leaving them with no subs. The girls, all energetic little nine-year-olds, ran their butts off, and all of us on the sidelines could see from their faces and their progressively slower approach to the ball, that they were really exhausted. At one point my daughter's friend Oona came running over to the sidelines and barked to the coach (her dad), "I need a SUB!!!!" As kindly as he could, Coach Dad replied, "There are no subs..."

Poor Oona, her brow furrowed, pig-tails flopping, she ran back out onto the field and did her best. At half-time, all the girls hobbled off the field collapsing onto their respective adults for water, comfort and praise. As the girls entered the second half, three out of five were limping and not one was smiling.

But they played. And played. And played. At one point Oona got hurt and had to leave the field and our team was down to just four tired little players. Oona's mom rubbed her injured shin as she sipped her water. About five minutes later, Oona hop-trotted up to her dad and asked to be put back in. The little crowd went wild. "Yay Oona!!!"

The next day when I was practicing yoga, I felt tired. I'd had a weekend away with some of my mommy friends and we did not treat our bodies kindly. Monday morning I was not at my best doing yoga. As Frankie guided us through the postures, I found myself thinking about five heroic nine-year-olds--Oona and Lucia and Imogen and Etta and A'Yanna. I smiled to think of them all playing without any breaks, whining a bit, but playing their hearts out. In those moments when I wanted to throw in the towel-- triangle pose, toe stand, camel pose-- I thought of the girls panting, struggling, bone-tired. I finished class, feeling righteous that I'd pushed myself through those moments where I thought I couldn't. It's so true. Sometimes you just have to keep playing, even when there are no subs.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Kinda crazy

Last week when I was practicing I set my mat up in a place that I regretted as soon as class started. I couldn't really see myself and I felt like I was strangely in no-mans-land-- not front, not back, not right, not left, not even middle ..... As soon as Pranayama started, I began to feel agitated. "I'll move my mat during party time." I thought to myself. But then, during the Half-Moon Series, I convinced myself that it would be a good practice to just manage my existing spot; to let go of the perfect practice mat placement for this class.

I felt pleased with my decision. Letting go is the single most important reason that I practice Yoga. When I am in the room, I am truly in a different space from the rest of my life. On this particular day when I was practicing, there was student to my left having a LOT of anxiety. I could tell that she was struggling and working really hard to stay in class. On the other side of me was a student who was weeping. It happens to lots of people-- the emotional release from an extremely physical practice. Both of these students inspired me to stay on course-- to accept my less-than-ideal placement on my mat, and to focus my energy on my practice and nothing else.

After class I had to immediately get on the phone to deal with some bullshit about Girl Scout Camp logistics for my daughter. I was talking on the phone in my fast-paced clip, inquiring about Session Two, Group B or some stupid detail, taking notes, asking questions about transportation. When I hung up, a student from the class was sitting on the bench beside the desk staring at me. "Are you always like that?" she asked.

"Like what?" I quipped back.

"Kinda crazy. You're so calm in the room, I would never guess you were like that."

"That's why I practice!" I practically yelled back, "in the Yoga room is the only time I'm not kinda crazy."

I can't wait to get in there.