Wednesday, March 30, 2011

52 Pickup: 12/52

Remember, all 52 pickups are open to interpretation. My interpretation might not be the same as yours - make it yours, make it a mantra, make it life lived well.
This week the pickup is:
Last week we re-tuned: eliminated clutter to clear the path for the self we've evolved into, allowed ourselves to say farewell to that which no longer serves us. This week, we ignite, or reignite, depending on your journey.

While clearing out a bit did you remember something you love, identify something that is missing, dream a little again? Did you start to think about a plan you've had for ages but never done anything about? Did someone or something remind you of a version of you you might have forgotten about, or even liked a little better?


Last week I started yoga again. Truth be told, I have pre-paid classes that needed to be used up before they expire (a great motivation to get thee to a gym when one is on a tight budget!). I've been wanting to go back to yoga for some time now. 

Back. Key word. 

I loved yoga. I used to practice as much as 6 times a week. I went from not being able to touch my toes to being able to bend into some amazing (and amazing feeling positions) (for instance). Was I a little overboard? Maybe. I mean sure, I would bust out a yoga move, on command, in my best friend's kitchen...but then again, friends allow that sort of thing. 

Here's the thing. Life got in the way. I moved, we moved, we welcomed a baby, I changed jobs, my husband changed jobs, I tried to go to a new yoga practice, I went with a friend even - but it didn't stick. For one, I fell in love with the Ashtanga style of yoga - that isn't offered anywhere around here. For another, I wasn't in the frame of mind or physical place to be committed. 

Have you bought into my excuses yet? I did.

But there are certain things that leave in imprint on us: music, movements, passages in books, things we know will forever be a part of us. For me, yoga will always be part of my soul. It is part of my sense memory, my muscle memory, my memory of a better self. 

So I went back. A different practice, a different style. I had to fight my own body even in the very first session, to ease, to not immediately skip into deeper poses and harder positions that are engrained in my memory, to experience the moment, more slowly, more deeply.

That first class back my teacher started class asking us to open our hearts, telling us that we would be doing movements to open ourselves (read: open the chest, move the shoulders back, counteract slouching and slumping forward). She then asked us, "Who is in your heart? Who lives in your heart?" 

My answer was immediate, it was an "of course" answer: My husband, my child, my family, my friends.

We went through practice. It felt good. Actually, it felt great. For a moment I was the me I wanted to be: a combination of the former physicality I loved with my more current mental mind. I found myself smiling...beaming, even.

Then we slowed down. We began to go into the more meditative area of practice. My teacher asked again, "Who is in your heart? Who lives in your heart?".

It hit me, no, more like lifted me. Of course my family, my friends are in my heart...but I wasn't. The simple act of doing yoga, of moving in a way that brought me joy began to put me back where I needed to be: in my own heart. That's when it happened. I couldn't stop it. I didn't try to (it was dark): huge, swollen tears fell down my face as I lay there, looking up (at an Om symbol, no less), each on crying out "oh!" and "I remember!" and "of course!". 

Is it a little embarrassing to tell you I cried in yoga? Maybe. But I needed to: if that kind of catharsis can't motivate you to commit to something that makes you whole I don't know what can.

I felt reignited. Alive with fire, passion, commitment, and goodness. 

For me, my grounding is in mindful movement: my drive from being where I need to be physically and mentally, strong, centered, and willing to commit to loving myself as much as others. For you it may lie somewhere else. You may fill yourself up when you perform, when you create, when you cook, when you write, garden, dance, listen to jazz...whatever it might be. Have you forgotten something that made you whole along the way?

Is it time to reignite that part of yourself? Time to let that light, that godliness inside of you, that part verging on sublime out again?

I say yes. 


The Avant Garde Goddess said...

I had to comment on this one because you were the person who introduced me to yoga! I remember when you took me to a class at some swanky studio on the main line & my love for yoga was born.

I practice at least twice a week now. It is such a huge grounding force in my life, my spirit, and my heart. And yes-I have cried on my yoga mat too. I've talked to others who've had a similar experience for varying reasons. I think it's what happens when you have an ah-ha! moment & break through mentally & emotionally in the midst of a downward dog, or a warrior 1 or whatever the pose may be.

I actually haven't cried in yoga in quite a while. Now I'm wondering if something is wrong with ME.

Tricia said...

Really? I didn't know that!

You are one of the most alive, ignited people I know - there is nothing wrong with you! Goodness - you are a motivation to keep pursuing a best version of self, more so than anyone I know!

And yes, I ended every statement with an exclamation mark. So there!

Mike said...

This is a great post and it reminded me of what I need to do to keep my passions, love, and well being alive.

Wonderful writing ... I was touched when you explained WHY you cried. I always look forward to 52 pick-up.

k said...

this made me miss my yoga class that i used to do here - the teacher was always so insightful and she always made me feel so peaceful. oh this made me so nostalgic!

Tara said...


I started back to yoga when I started having anxiety. At first that opening up experience seemed to lead to a rush of anxiety. So much that I nearly had panic attacks during the movements. But it did seem to somehow integrate my body movement with my emotions and anxiety so I continued to pursue it. I gave up my intense and more mindless workouts for quiet, thoughtful workouts and I do believe it was part of my healing process.

A lovely post. I too was touched by your introspective thoughts. I believe thoughts like that are always epochs. You will never forget making that mental/emotional/physical connection.

Much love!

Brandi said...

Another absolutely perfect pickup that resonates so well with me right now. There are many things I need to work on reigniting, and doing something good for my body and soul is precisely where I'm going to start too.

Zarah said...

I had a similar reaction recently, whenour yoga teacher finished the session by having us just put our arms around ourselves in a hug, thanking ourselves and LOVING ourselves. It's not uncommon that I cry a little during the relax-session at the end of class, but that was... powerful.

It feels good, to actually SEE how yoga changes you emotionally, mentally and in such a deep way. It's not "just" exercise...

Thanks for sharing this!