A spiritual practice is a tool for becoming aware of God within the normalcy of life—it injects the sacred into elements that could otherwise seem just everyday.
Today felt dramatically uninspired. Because, you know, I’m going to be alone forever.
I tricked myself into going to Yoga Agora for their donation-based afternoon class (actually they have two donation-based afternoon classes on weekends, one at 2 pm and one at 3 pm, and all other classes are $5; check their schedule here). I had a gift card to a store that’s on the way to the studio and I told myself I would go get the piece of jewelry I wanted on my way there, as a present for all my concerted efforts at wellness, and I was already running relatively late so another pit stop would mean being even later and having even less class to tolerate. Anything to get back to that cherished, static fetal position on the couch in my sweats. Once out of the house, of course, I had fought half the battle, so I skipped the shop and got to the studio just as people were easing onto all fours. I showed up with an escape plan, though. I haven’t felt that need in a while, to have a plan to get out of there if it became too psychically intolerable. Am I the only one out there whose anxiety is sometimes exacerbated by deep breathing and exercise? “Just get through half the class, then you can get up and take a long look at the clock and make a face that says ‘there’s nowhere I’d rather be but somewhere else I have to be,’ and leave,” said always-clever Brain.
Anyway, I stuck it out. The only thing I can say is that I was panicky-pained prior to class, but after hanging around upside down for a while, I noticed I could find some thoughts that were slightly less pained and that my panic had subsided to a dull concession. As the instructor wrapped up the closing meditation, he said, “If it’s any easier for you to be here now, than it was for you when you first came in, then congratulations. Your yoga worked!”
I had a teacher once explain to me that the best thing to do when you feel anxious is to invert. The body’s composition from foot to head is Earth, Fire, Water and Air. When your head is running rampant, Fire is overheating Water, and thus creating a hot steam in your mind. So you press it back into the earth to extinguish the flames and let the ground absorb the gasses and ashes. I’m not surprised that the better thoughts started coming to me in down dog.
It also happened after I gave the girl next to me one of my blocks and a really, really big smile, and internally said a blessing for her practice. I don’t know why I liked her so much. I am not a solitary creature. I spent the day alone, less that one interaction.
My mantra for the day has been, “I am completely present with this feeling.” I suppose that even if it doesn’t feel inspired, it still deserves to be felt.