The yoga studio was full. Yoga mat after yoga mat were lined up down each side of the room. We all sat facing each other. I was tucked neatly into the back corner quietly waiting for class to start. Just before the door was pulled shut, one more student came into the room. She unrolled her mat down the center of room perpendicular to all the other mats. Her mat was just inches from my mat. I smiled when she glanced in my direction. She looked and quickly turned away.
Slowly we moved through each pose. Each stretch become deeper. I was flooded by the energy of the girl sitting perpendicularly in a room of parallel mats. Every stretch she moved through seemed to have an exclamation point at the end. This was a yin class. Even a period would have seemed too loud. I could not find a space in that room to breathe.
There is a lesson here I said to myself between inhales and exhales. So often in life I can let the energy of other people overflow into my life. I needed to find a place where I could peacefully coexist with this girl I knew nothing about except she was overwhelming to me. I need to learn to shine even when there is a spotlight in the room.
Sunday mornings while Chet is napping I love to unroll my yoga mat in front of our living room window. I put my favorite blissology DVD in the player. It’s my favorite loving-kindness meditative practice.
May you be filled with loving-kindness.
May you be well.
May you be peaceful and at ease.
May you be happy.
The practice begins with the core. Each sun salutation is dedicated to yourself. It then ripples out from there. The circles become wider, bigger, and broader. The ripples include loved ones, acquaintances, familiar faces, strangers, and confrontational people. I love this practice. I love focusing on these circles I’ve created in my life.
There is something about this chapter of my life – is it my 30s? marathon training? contentment? motherhood? true love? – that has me taking inventory of everything that is around me. I’ve been blessed with wonderful friendships. I have friends that have crossed into all chapters of my life. I have friends that were only a part of my life momentary when I so desperately needed them. New friends are showing up that are helping root me deeper to my life. With every change, the connection between each relationship is strengthened.
With each interaction, with each sun salutation, I’m finding myself wondering so many things. Why this person? Why now? What am I giving? What am I taking away from the relationship? I find myself wanting to share the loving-kindness that is inside of me with everyone I encounter. How can I bring more happiness to my journey? The more I give of myself, the more I feel myself shining.
Tonight I returned to that same yin yoga class. There was a new teacher and the same girl with the perpendicular mat (except tonight she was parallel to everyone else in the room). The practice was wonderful. The teacher was wonderful. She was very hands on. During saddle pose, a gentle touch to my core allowed me to pull in my lower rib cage. I found an entire new space in my torso. During dragon pose, she applied pressure to my hips with her knees. My spine immediately found length.
It’s amazing how a simple touch from someone can allow you to find new space in yourself.
I walked away from class with a new clear understanding. This is how I want to structure my life: small touches that can allow space for others to breathe. I’m creating circles that are filled with friends, family, and strangers. The core of each of these circles is the same principle: loving kindness. With every interaction, with each touch, I am finding more space inside of me. As these circles grow in strength, the straight lines (both parallel and perpendicular) won’t be able to invade my life with negative energy. I’m finding my way to let my light shine. I’m finding my way to continue to share the loving kindness I want in my own life.