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I recently bought ten yoga classes for $10.00. Aside from the euphoria a bargain like that can bring to a bargain-hunter like yours truly, this particular bargain has gone a long way toward heightening my awareness and centering my crazy self.
I’ve been attending Sunset Vinyasa most Monday nights at the Love Yoga Coop at the Amala Foundation. I know most of you aren’t in Austin, but for those of you who are – stop missing out. There is the beautiful studio which somehow instantly imparts a sense of calm pleasant coziness (hard to accomplish in June Texas Heat); there is the good cause that our fees go to support; and there is the unmatched instructor, Chelsea, who always manages to push you just enough, teach you just enough, and question you just enough to make her class really satisfying and fulfilling.
I’m interested in developing new and better intentions for my yoga practice, and I’m interested in hearing some of your intentions during your own yoga practices. I’ve never had the guts to just ask someone face-to-face mostly because “Hey baby, what’s YOUR yoga intention?” sounds right up there with “What’s your sign?” and “How you doin’?” So Manifest Mondays are going to be brief updates about my yoga intention and yours (hopefully).
This week I am in transition.
Major transition. That’s part of the reason I have been completely and totally off the blogosphere radar lately. I don’t know what it is about me, but whenever life’s tectonic plates rub up against each other, I’m always fearing the creation of a bottomless chasm instead of awaiting the eruption of a majestic mountain. Transitions generally send my head in the sand, my mind to outer space, and my social life off the edge of the earth. This is where Monday night yoga has really helped.
This week my intention is to transition gracefully.
Many yoga teachers say that yoga is less about the poses than it is about the movement between poses. I have heard that who you are in transition is who you REALLY are. So right now that makes me harried, hurried, worried, and odd. Many yoga teachers also say that a common cheat for practitioners is to ride the wave of momentum as we move between poses, rather than mindfully moving with grace and control. This is me. I wildly swing my heels like pendulums through 180 degrees of sweaty studio space to get from three-legged do to crescent lunge. I convince myself on an inhale to “Just get through it,” and I convince myself on the subsequent exhale that “Nobody’s looking.”
When it dawns on me that I’m doing it (er, when Chelsea gently points it out to the class), it dawns on me that this IS how I am. I AM on the mat how I am in my life. My discomfort with change and distaste for flux has me thinking “Just get through it,” and if my uncertainty about the future has me dodging workouts, dogging my blog posts, and slacking at work, I’m pretty well convinced that “nobody’s looking.”
So this week I’m manifesting Grace in Transition. When I feel overwhelmed with change, flux, and uncertainty, I inhale the newness, the goodness, and the excitement of what’s to come, then I exhale the stale, worn-out monotony I’m trying to leave behind. I visualize my feet on a flat, warm stone in running water, seeing my right foot leave my left, aiming over the water for a new stone just out of reach. I inhale and imagine the warm flatness of the new stone rising to meet the sole of my right foot, and I exhale a cool whisper of new space under my left foot as it gently pushes the old stone away. For a brief second I am aloft over the rushing water, intently hoping to meet the security of the new stone while regretting the lost security of the old one. And then I land, right foot finding it’s mark and rooting within it as if carved from it, left foot trails behind in a floating arc then alights on the new stone to meet the right.
And all of this with grace.