Thursday, September 4, 2014

Blissed Out: Why I Will Always Be a Student of Yoga

My husband was called in to work to answer an alarm at 1:15 this morning. I vaguely remember him telling me that he had to go to the plant, and then I tried to drop off back to sleep. I definitely remember him coming back to bed sometime around 3.

But then I was up at 5 to get us ready for Colden's second day of first grade. He slept a little later than usual, so we were in a rush. Had to get him fed and dressed. Had to make sure I packed his gym shoes. Carpool was coming at 7:30 - and I realized that my husband had driven off to Lake Placid with the booster seat, leaving me with the immensely bulky, strapy car seat that take a good ten minutes to set up in a vehicle. But then I would have to arrange to pick up the car seat for when I picked up Colden at the bus stop. I had a 9:00 a.m. chiropractor appointment in Plattsburgh, too, to try to fix this burning in my left hip and the tingling in my right arm that can only have come from a pinched nerve in my neck.

I'm still trying to get caught up and just stay caught up with work, after having three short weeks in a row when I traveled to Philadelphia for a trade show, then back home, then a long holiday weekend...

And then there's soccer practice tonight. Colden gets off the bus at 3:30, and soccer practice is at 5. So we get home around 3:45, then have to turn around at 4:30 and drive all the way back to Keene Valley for soccer practice. (Last year, he didn't want to do soccer, so I don't want to discourage him from going, but YIKES! The logistics!) And it's farm night, when someone has to drive 20 miles up to Keeseville and pick up our CSA share from the farm. And I like to go to Robin's 6:00 p.m. Vinyasa class on Thursdays, even if it's just to get me out of the house and out of my head and into my body...

So, WOA! Do you see where I'm going with all of this? It seems like our lives as they're designed in American society put our nervous systems on overdrive. It's always go-go-go!

I finished up a little earlier than I had planned at the chiropractor, and I remembered that one of my favorite yoga teachers in Plattsburgh has class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9:30. It had been a while since I'd been to one of Luiz' classes, and I had exactly 20 minutes to get there. I had left my mat at home, thinking I'd just be coming straight back to dive into the day's insanity, but right there, I decided that the thing I needed most in the world was to slooooooow down.

I'm so happy that I went. Luiz at ADK Yoga is just a wonderful teacher. He has a wicked good sense of humor, and I love the chanting at the beginning and end of each class. I always leave his classes feeling so grounded and blissful, and I learn so much from him!

Today's class was wonderful - all floor work, no standing poses. It was exactly what I needed. I had a couple of laughs in class, and I even surprised myself by being able to push straight up into forearm plank from a resting position on my belly. (Really. I never saw THAT one coming.)

Savasana in that class is always like I'm experiencing an altered state of consciousness - it's like I'm dreaming but not dreaming.

The woman set up next to me had a crazy, wild afro-mohawk hairdo going on, and she rocked it. Her male companion had hair way longer than mine ever was, and we had a couple of smiles during class as we tried not to bump our feet and hands into each other.

As I walked back out to the car to head home, I felt so GOOD. Yes, the to-do list was still there. The need for figuring out the logistics of getting my kid from the bus stop and to soccer and back and still get him fed and to bed on time was still there.

And of course, as soon as I got into my work to meet my deadlines, my work computer froze right the hell up. (There's something weird with it, not sure what it is. I've tried virus software, spyware, everything, and I think I'm just going to have to break down and take it to the computer hospital.)

But the difference now was that I felt calm and centered and grounded. Everything would get done, or it wouldn't, but after that class, I felt like I was paying attention to the important things: the breeze coming off the lake, the ideas for blogs and newsletters that were swirling in my head.

Don't get me wrong, I love being a writer and an artist. But those of you who also write know how hard it can be to get out of your own head sometimes. For me, I've got be able to recognize when my brain starts to go on overdrive, because it's then that I start with an anxiety attack or a stomachache or some other unpleasantness.

And as a teacher (who is starting a new teaching gig tomorrow morning), I feel like it's just so important for me to experience as many different styles and teachers as I can. Yes, I've been practicing a whole lot of yoga over the last 3 years or so, but there will always be something new for me to experience on my mat. There will always be something new for me to learn.

I've noticed that very often, I get that feeling of bliss or being "high" when I take a class with a new teacher that I especially like, or when I travel to a different studio outside of my regular haunts. It brings me back to that beginner's mind in my yoga practice. And it's just good to see some new faces and meet new people.

No matter what else happens today, I've been able to take some time to slow it down, find my center, and approach the rest of the day with a clear head. That's why I will always be a student of yoga.

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