Saturday, August 6, 2016

Unwinding

It's my typical Saturday morning. I drive east to the Wedgwood neighborhood in Seattle, park my Sweet Llama (my 94 Honda) in the Safeway lot across the street from the yoga studio, pop my trunk, grab my mat, and cross the street. I stuff my Chacos and keys in the cubbyhole of the Ikea cube, and feel the cold, hardwood floor on my feet as I make my way into the back corner, my usual spot. I unroll my green sticky mat and take a breath. 

I like coming early before the rush. I get some time to warm-up, working out the kinks with my therapy balls against the wall. Tender areas in my hips and IT band start releasing.

I have been coming to this class for about seven months now. It's taught by a fabulous, wholehearted, real deal woman in the tradition of Forrest Yoga. It works me like no other class. When I first started coming, I thought I was all big & mighty, me being a trained yoga teacher. I thought I knew how to breathe. I was wrong.

She sets up at her usual spot and has us continue ball work at the wall. "Use your breath. Get into your breath. Deepen your breath. Feel it, like really feeeellll it." My ribs start to poke out, my body starts to open, I start to feel taller. More open. My spine is melting like a stick of butter in the hot sun. 

"We all come to yoga for a variety of reasons; the physicality of it, the mental peace, whatever it is for you. For me, yoga is about unwinding," explains my teacher. 

Whoa. Yep. That makes a ton of sense, yet I could never articulate that. I always would say that I come for the peace, the therapy, the alone time, but all of it leads to unwinding. My physical limbs, my mind, my breath...all of it, held so tightly day after day. I reflected in my practice about how I so fear unwinding outside of yoga. 

Hmmmm. Food for thought. Why is that? 

Despite all "the work" I have done, the internal training and loop runs a muck; close off, be strong, don't let go. It will all be too much. Vulnerability is something saved for behind closed doors, maybe with that one special person you can trust. Despite the craze around vulnerability (I love Brene Brown BTW, so don't get me wrong), I have to honor and hold that part of myself that likes to be wound up tight. I am aware...oh I am sooooo aware, and slowly I can accept that unwinding in my own way is the ticket. 

So I do unwind in my own way. My yoga mat, my alone time, my weekly massage, my reading at night, my one-on-one time with friends, my meditation cushion, writing, sweating, being with my dahlias, being with my sweetie at a film on Saturday night, chopping vegetables. 

But I am still not there. I am still not letting my guard down in a lot of my environments with a lot of people in my life.

Like the yoga practice, it's a life practice. No destination. No where to arrive at. No end in sight.
And yes, I am still looking to find peace in that. 

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