Woman@Heart

Musings on Life, Love and Lefovers

That’s A Twist

Standing on my yoga mat, I step my legs about three feet apart and point my right foot forward. My arms form a T and I rotate from my waist sending my left hand in the air and my right hand sliding down my left leg toward my foot. Patricia, our yoga teacher, encourages us to “Breathe deeply.”

Some 20 minutes earlier, I’d unrolled my mat in line next to Virginia and Kim, my yoga pals. There’s a bunch of us who weave this bit of “me-time” into our routine. About 30 men and women relying on these bends, twists and stretches to help unite mind, body and spirit.  

As I take a slow inhalation and hold this twisted triangle pose, my thoughts page back to eighth grade. My classmate Maggie’s 13th birthday party. If I had been practicing yoga then, I would have won that game of Twister, instead of toppling over after her mom called out: “Right hand on blue. Left foot on green.”

shutterstock_367718999

Since junior high I’ve learned a lot about mental and physical adaptability. The fact that I’m the mother of three sons has contributed greatly. But recently I credit my enhanced limberness and awakened inner peace to yoga. Three mornings a week — for a blessed 75 minutes – my world stops as I stand tall in mountain pose and breathe from my belly.

Before I started practicing yoga, my body (and spirit) sent out steady, achy complaints. These pain-racked signals culminated in an all-out demand for me to learn how to relax my soul and quiet my mind. One undeniable yoga signpost came during lunch with my good friend Sue. After our usual updates about kids, husbands and careers, our girl talk took a more personal tilt: “So what are you doing for yourself these days?” she asked in between bites of our shared tiramisu.
 
I was glad she asked. As a result of a recent scare with high blood pressure, I had become a self-proclaimed expert about benefits of mediation. And with the over-the-top enthusiasm characteristic of the newly converted, I launched into a PowerPoint-worthy presentation on the pluses of quiet contemplation.

Sue smiled and then asked, “Have you ever considered yoga?” After another bite dessert, she added, tentatively: “You know you are, uh, wound a bit tight sometimes.”

I knew she wasn’t referring to the snug spirals of my naturally curly hair. In her own understated way, Sue was suggesting that I — like lots of women – had a tendency to over-react to everyday dilemmas. I was guilty of attacking each mini-drama as the next hill to die on. And maybe, just maybe, my current coping style wasn’t the sanest way to live if I wanted to be around to see my grandkids.

As an eighth grader, I didn’t realize that playing a “game that ties you up in knots” was a peek into the future. At 13 how could I know that pretty much everything in life takes agility — college, relationships, children, careers. We have to find balance, but no one tells you how you lost it or where to look for it once you’ve discovered it’s missing. So it’s no wonder that when we take on too much we topple over. I am a loving partner (left foot on yellow) and a good mother (right foot on blue). I hold down a job (left hand on red), manage a household (left foot on red) and try to find a smidgen of time for myself (right foot on green).

Except for an occasional kid’s birthday party, my Twister days are behind me. These days I find balance in my wobbly attempts to stand in tree pose. I concentrate on being still on the inside so that later, when one of life’s inevitable twists or turns arises, I can stay calm on the outside.

Still standing in revolved triangle, Patricia’s soft voice encourages the class to breathe more deeply. “Open up your chest by turning a little more toward the back of the room.” My thoughts interrupt: What’s for dinner? Did I unplug the iron? I wonder if my paycheck hit the bank yet. Boy, I’d love a piece of cake. Yoga has improved my range of motion, but I’m still working on the “letting-go-of-my-thoughts” part of this restorative discipline.

With encouragement from yogis like Patricia (and thanks to Sue) I’m gradually getting it. During these few minutes, worries about food, kids and money float through my mind like bubbles in the breeze. I remind myself that I have the rest of the day to figure out what to get my niece for her birthday. But for now, while I’m in class, I work on staying in the moment. Patricia, like Maggie’s mom did decades ago, calls out a new pose — right foot and right hand on green, left foot and left hand on blue. I slowly position myself into downward facing dog and breathe deeply.

Advertisements

Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Authors & Readers Book Corner

A Connection for Authors to Readers

The Coffeeholic Bookworm

reading books while sipping coffee

reecaspieces

Sharing little pieces of me with you.

Chick Lit Goddess

...because every author wants to feel like a goddess!

Celticlady's Book Reviews

Book Reviews, Book Spotlights and Giveaways

I Do & Adieu

Learning To Live And Love In Japan

beingmommie.com

Sharing my learnings of being a mother

Woman@Heart

Musings on Life, Love and Lefovers

Writer Unboxed

about the craft and business of fiction

Momma Meesh: Entering the World of Foster Parenting

This is the story about a single mother of two becoming a Foster Parent, one step at a time.

Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking...

San Diego Society of Professional Journalists

Supporting journalists across the San Diego region.

Writers In The Storm

A Blog On Writing

ClaireFlaire

Enjoy the Journey

The Better Man Project ™

a journey into the depths

Eye-Dancers

A site devoted to the Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel The Eye-Dancers

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

%d bloggers like this: