I read this piece at a Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts’ Short Attention Span Storytelling Hour event at Stardust Coffee & Video on June 22, 2016.
I started “practicing” yoga last fall, but I’ve never been good with balance.
My first yoga class was an act of resignation that I couldn’t keep up the workaholic mentality I had adopted since founding, launching, and managing a brand new digital magazine for my brand new boss. After seven days to get the site live & then seven months of the high highs and low lows of new partnerships and lost team members, new subscribers and budget issues, I needed to carve out some “me time” for my personal well being.
I spread my arms flat out to each side of me, my fingertips reaching for the baseboards on opposite sides of the room. I wound my legs around one another and flopped my knees to the left. My torso twisted around and I pushed my shoulder blades into my mat. Bending and twisting have never been my problem. I’ve just never been good at balance.
I try to remember to breathe in between the thousands of thoughts that I try to push from my mind. My gaze darting to the zipper compartment of my yoga mat carrier, I wonder if my emails or my texts were waiting for my response.
Last Christmas, I went home to Upstate NY to “take a break from work” at least physically. I tried to show my cousin a yoga pose that could help relax her after a long day working as a nurse. She said she could never bend like a pretzel the way I did. I found that hard to believe considering she did ice skating and gymnastics when she was little while I lacked all the power, strength, agility, or grace necessary to even muster a handstand or a cartwheel.
As a beginning yoga practitioner, I have excelled in Yin classes, poses held for longer periods of time and the muscles of the body relaxing into the position with each purposeful exhalation. Before I found my preference for Yin practice, I attended some classes that incorporated balance poses as well as reclining poses.
Balancing is a pain in my ass.