Last night after a long [insert slew of obscenities here] day, I went to yoga. I almost didn't go. The warm comfort of pets, my home, and the couch seductively called to me as I sat in a sea of red lights and traffic. They were both so tempting that I almost escaped the highway three exits sooner, but I stayed strong. I gave myself a pep talk on the benefits of losing myself in my Utkatasana's, Virabhadrasana II, and Savasana's.
As I sat in the car, repeating the benefits of attending, the day kept butting in and replaying itself like a short film on a loop. I spent most it angry and/or frustrated. When I was younger, anger always served as a fuel for me, but not as I've grown older it just drains me to the points of exhaustion. I am a shell of myself even as I smile and make small talk with the people around me. Today, in fact, I am shell. I am a browned husk floating around campus berating myself for losing my temper. At moments like these, I am thankful for my retail experience as it allows me to be a better liar. I wear a smile in situations most couldn’t. Today, though, my smile is fueled by a red and orange kite.
During the class, my mind shifted back and forth as much as my body shifted from pose to pose. For me, yoga is the only form of mediation that quiets my mind. It pushes out all the restless thoughts and to do’s and lets me focus on finding a balance in my Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) or my Trikonasana (Triangle). The instructor, Samantha, has this wonderfully melodic voice. (I sometimes wonder if yoga found her or if her voice led her to yoga.) It guides me, unconditionally and without judgment along my practice for the class. When I get lost, her words and voice bring me back to my intension for the evening. Last night, my mind fixated on gratitude. When I got lost, I thought of the word and wrapped myself in its meaning.
After one hour of asana’s, my skin slick and dripping, we reached my favorite part of the class. Savasana. At the end of each class, we lay on our soggy mats and listen as Samantha lulls us into relaxation. In a way, she is a conductor, and our bodies simply follow the peaks and valleys. At last night’s final dip, the most wonderful thing happened to me.
I lay quiet and lost myself. I don’t know if it was Samantha or my exhaustion, but I lost track of time and the space. In my mind, I saw myself, small, sitting in lotus pose. There was nothing around me, just gray. As I focused, a red and orange kite appeared in my hand. I don’t know where the kite came from, but I sat quietly looking at it. I’m not sure for how long, because when I finally began to hear Samantha’s voice again, it seemed like hours had passed. I spent hours with myself and a red and orange kite. I’ve never had a kite until now. All day today, as a tired shell of me walks around, my mind keeps going back to the red and orange kite and how I felt holding it. And right now, I want to feel that way again.
I don’t know if this will happen again, (or if Samantha puts something funny in that scented humidifier that sits in the corner) but I already miss the sense of stillness. The sense of only me without any demands.