Posted by: Patti Dickinson | 04/05/2015

Namaste and remaining upright

I have been thinking about taking up yoga for a long time. So much of it seems to work for me, a good fit. After so many years of chasing eight kids around and all that entailed, soccer, piano, homework, Girl/Boy Scouts, and keeping the kids in bed at night (“Don’t you get out of that bed unless it’s on fire”), I didn’t know how to just “be”. “Being” felt too much like standing still and that equated to getting-nothing-done.

Boy, was I wrong. It would be no exaggeration for me to say that I yearn for that time away from it all that yoga affords me. I’ve been at it long enough that I no longer lay on the mat thinking of what I am going to throw together for dinner, who I need to call, what I have to do to get ready to be in the classroom tomorrow. (And I don’t mean be in the yoga sense!) I like being in a community of eighteen men and women of all ages and sizes, all gathering for the same reason. We don’t really converse, but we smile at each other. Most of us, I suspect, had that light bulb go off – time for ourselves, time to treat ourselves as gently as we treat others (well, except for the fire-in-your-bed-part!).

It has shown me another way to live my life. To be in the moment, to eliminate the distractions of the day. Checking it all at the door, in much the same way that I would counsel my teenagers to leave their attitudes there. The first week of yoga I couldn’t imagine a time when I could stop composing a grocery list in my head, my brain hopping from one thing to another. Never still, always multi-tasking while yoga-posing.

I began this yoga journey because I was beginning to feel creaky. Not as limber, not as flexible. And yoga gave me the results I was looking for. More peace, more being in the moment, hands closer to my toes when I bent over.

Physical balance?

Not so much.

I’m going to cut right to the chase and get this over with. I fell down. Trying to grab my ankle from behind me and boom. Tipped over, and there was no way I was going to remain upright without grabbing on to the stranger next to me and take her down with me. And since I am a pretty nice human, that only crossed my mind fleetingly. But then I would at least have had everyone guessing about who fell and who took one for the team. Thud. And not one person looked back to see who the klutz was that fell down. Imagine that. Thudding my way through yoga and no one even notices!

Yoga has also given me time to reconnect with one of the nicest human beings that I know. Our paths have crossed and recrossed through our kids’ growing-up years. We had kids “in common” — same grade and the best of friends. Coincidentally, they are both now living and working in Chicago and run into each other occasionally on the streets of the Windy City.

And at the end of each yoga session, “Namaste”. A beautiful Sanskrit word meaning: The Divine Light in me recognizes the Divine Light in you.”

Yoga — a thud, a friend, learning how to be, being a klutz without judgment, a sense of peace. All in one place in Westport.

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