Just the other day, on the apartment floor, an impromptu yoga practice took place. This was not like my normal home practice where I decide in the morning or the evening that I will do some sun salutations or follow a video of some sort. It was a playful practice that I shared with one of the most special people in my life. I can’t even remember at this point how we ended up playing around with poses on the floor, but there we were. I was explaining how crow pose (which is an arm balance) it particularly hard for me, but one of my favorites- I actually have too many favorites to even include the word “one” in a phase with the word “favorite” In any case, I squatted down and began to ease into the pose, sort of explaining as I went. As I began to look up, I looked over and there he was beautifully anchored in crow pose. This really made my heart smile. He has an interest in yoga, but no practice as of yet, but there he was in all his glory, in crow pose, oh beautiful crow pose. It was that moment that I learned what it really felt like to share a practice. Until that moment my only yoga companions where people I happen to place my mat next to in a class at American Family. I have never really shared a practice with a non-stranger. Although there was no vinyasa style flow (this where poses will flow from one to another in conjunction with the breath.) to this practice, it was more just hey check out this one, this one is hard for me, this one is good for your back, or this one is a favorite- it was still yoga and I loved it. For the first time I was a teacher and a student; showing a pose, but also getting insight on what I could do better. I tried a few more times, falling over as usual, but there was no judgment it was all just yoga and companionship. I tried to explain side crow-I cannot even begin to show it- and again, up he went. I loved to see how his body allowed him to do what I could not; knowing that my body would allow me to do what he could not. Vast differences, but still no judgment- it was beautiful. I don’t know how else to explain it. I am a sucker for “differences” coming together for a common purpose. That is a yoga moment I will never forget.
I bought a new yoga book last night. I opened it first thing this morning right to crow pose to continue my insight into my flight with the crow. The book says under the mental benefits that, “When you are practicing this pose, you have to evaluate how much of your body weight you can place on your arms and hands.” Immediately the word “weight” catches me, it is such a sensitive word for me. I don’t like my weight, so without judgment I chuckle at myself and move on. It goes on to say, “If you place too little weight on them, you will not be able to lift your feet off the floor. After a period of testing and hesitation, one concentrated, determined movement will lift you into the pose.” Wow-I know we are talking about crow pose here, but doesn’t this reflect life? If you put to much or too little “weight” on one thing you get stuck, but with concentration and determination off you go. This is a lesson to me; this is why crow is hard for me. I need to lift that weight off the stuff that I am stuck on, concentrating with determination to get my feet off the floor. Yoga isn’t just about physical flexibility; much of it is getting the mind flexible.