On Saturday morning the stars aligned and for the first time in much too long I was present on my mat.
Sometimes it’s tough to know what it means to be present when our lives and our minds are so busy with me, me, me.
But for an hour on Saturday I was able to find presence and defy judgement through breath and flow; freedom while working limbs and trunk into shapes not usually made in the span of a normal day.
When you find that elevated place of spiritual liftedness it’s a a lot like the illusive runner’s high. Not until you meet it do you recognize it’s been there all along, but you have been the thing standing in its way.
Toward the end of class we worked into Bird of Paradise.
I stood on my right leg with my shoulder tucked under my left knee, arm wrapped underneath my left calf, hand holding the outer edge of my foot. To make the bind, I needed to wrap my right arm around my back to meet the left hand, while pressing through the right foot to find leverage; to stand up, lifting the knee, while pretzel wrapped around myself.
I worked to the point where my loose right arm met its resistance (so far from where it would have liked to have gone), but instead of feeling any negativity toward myself or the pose, my spirit was set free in the act of the trying. I laughed, and standing in mountain with hands in prayer, smiled under thumbs at the site of my fellow yogis “going for it.” Twisted and bound and strong and upright, many of them even straightened the lifted leg.
Like breathing flesh and bone statues, working their bodies into the shapes of birds, I felt profound pride.
The moment had nothing to do with what I could not achieve or never have been able to or how I felt about my differences from others or how I stood alone.
And there it was….
Gratefulness in a moment, in an experience far beyond the boundaries of my own vida loca.
Have you ever had an experience like this on or off the mat? Do you lose gratefulness sometimes and have difficulty locating it again?