because yoga is a lot like life


I can feel it in those first moments on the mat, all the tension I’ve been holding for hours and days, or maybe weeks and months. And so I lie there, dealthy still, eyes wide and staring at the ceiling and I let myself feel it.

I don’t love Pachabel’s Canon in D. I can see why anyone who’s not a music major would. Or anyone who hasn’t been doing the music for weddings since their teens. Or anyone who has managed to not hear it hundreds of times. But I am a music major who’s been doing the music for weddings since my teens, and I’ve heard it hundreds of times. So I just don’t love it, and it doesn’t feel like yoga music, and thoughts bounce around like a toddler inside my mind.

I do like this instructor, though, despite her questionable taste in music. I like her voice, I like it that she asks us to commit to an intention, a point of focus, a meditation. I usually pick my own, and tonight I think my point of focus will be this idea that all is grace. Feels like something I need to remember more than usual these days, especially if I can find a quiet enough space in my head for it to take root and stick around.

That first pose, though, has me questioning my affection for her. My long legs twisted up around one another, bent and angled and wrapped and stretched. And then she says it, the phrase that makes me hate her just a little bit.

Relax into it.

Uh. About that.

This is a great hip opener, if your muscles are tight in that area. Just breathe and let gravity do the work.

Okay…okay, I’m breathing…but for real, this is not okay.

We’ll stay here for about two minutes.

We will do what??

Try not to fidget. When it gets uncomfortable, that’s when it’s most necessary to stay the course.

You are a jerk, woman. And why, for the love of all that’s good and holy, is that wretched song still playing??

And so I’m sitting there, tangled up with myself, and I can feel the resistance and the beckoning of a constant urge to just stop, to go back to the resting pose, to just enjoy the silence of a quiet, candlelit room where no one knows my name and no one needs anything from me. I know that’s an option. I know I can use this time to relax without challenging myself. We don’t judge each other’s practice in yoga. That’s the rule.

But even as I mentally explore that option, I’m so terribly aware of my own achy pieces. I’m sitting there, and the tightness in my muscles is exposed and raw, and loudly so. I can feel it all right now, for the first time in a long time, even though it’s been there for months. I can feel the feelings that have been going unnoticed, the parts that I haven’t been caring for, the places that have been carrying the weight of unnecessary things.

And I literally laugh out loud in the middle of that still and quiet room, because the reason I love yoga is because I am a lover of metaphors. And yoga is life.

When it gets uncomfortable, that’s when it’s the most necessary to stay the course.

That thought keeps replaying itself in my mind today. Because I am so prone to chase comfort. So prone to do the easy thing. So absolutely aware, one hundred percent of the time, of the option to tap out. Because the passions and loves that beat inside my chest are HARD. They are hard, hard things. 

I made myself a deal on my 29th birthday, that I would start writing music again, that I would write my life and write raw. But writing music is like yoga for me. It’s uncomfortable in the doing. It’s so terribly uncomfortable. It is time-consuming and vulnerable, a demanding mistress who won’t be satisfied with anything but everything I have. And so here I am, almost to the halfway point of this year, and nothing. And yet–there it is, in my mind. All of the mess of truth that I need to put on paper and bring to life. It hasn’t gone away. It’s that achy hip, the one that’s been holding tension in the background for so very long, but the process of healing hurts and challenges and stretches. And I’m afraid of it. Is it okay to say that? That it’s just easier to binge-watch Netflix than it is to sit down and use my God-given gift. Because I’m afraid of it. All the time. I’m afraid of being uncomfortable.

And yet…

When it gets uncomfortable, that’s when it’s the most necessary to stay the course.

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