I got home this afternoon (after having been out of town for the past three days, visiting family and celebrating [U.S.] Independence Day), and I was tired. And mentally kind of “spacey”. And not very motivated. Overall, I felt like I was just kind of “not-with-it”; like my mind was all fuzzy, and I didn’t have enough attention to do any “important” tasks, and I didn’t have enough concentration to even do more “basic” items… I was just kind of drifting, kind of lost; a blend of lethargy/physical fatigue and mental stress/strain resulting from the lack of everyday routines over the past few days… Know what I’m talking about?
I guess what I’m trying to express is that this afternoon, I just wasn’t “feeling it”; I wasn’t feeling much of anything, actually. Except tired. And disinterested. And overall just kind of “blah”. But I had yoga tonight. Part of me would have preferred to stay home, but a larger part of me recognized that it was nearly 100% guaranteed that if I did go to class, I would feel much, *much* better. So I changed clothes, packed my bag, and headed off to the studio.
The topic of tonight’s core session was twists: how to get in proper physical alignment for them, how to execute them correctly, and the benefits they yield. This was a pretty active class; the instructor had a handout already made for us, so we didn’t have to spend a lot of time taking notes. Instead, we could spend that time moving and learning kinesthetically: feeling the poses, observing the poses in a partner, adjusting ourselves and each other to let our bodies “memorize” how to best work with twists. In this session, I once again witnessed/experienced how critical physical strength is to a solid yoga practice; while I was able to go all bendy-bendy into nearly all of the twists, when it came time to do more advanced asanas (like crow/crane, side crow/crane, and “splits-in-the-air”), I fell short. (Literally.) But, I’m just keeping at it. My muscles will grow, my body will learn, and I know that one day, I’ll try for the nine-hundred-and-forty-eighth time to get into a pose, and I’ll surprise myself by just popping right into it. (“Just”… riiiiiiight; like the previous 947 times never happened…?? Man, some days I crack myself up. Anyway…)
In addition to providing simple-yet-solid direction about twists, tonight’s instructor also made a comment about physical structure and strength that really spoke to me. He said, “Curves are stronger than straight lines.” (He was talking about the slight S-curve most people have in their spines, as compared to a completely straight, curve-free spine [like one that has had vertebrae fused together, or that has metal rods in it, or something similar].) While this comment is certainly true from a structural and architectural standpoint (i.e., bridges, ancient ruins, etc.), it also hit me from a body-image perspective. Women are meant to have hips, have breasts, have a rear, have thighs – have curves. Women aren’t designed to look “straight” like men or children are; women are meant to have curves. *I* am meant to have curves. It’s my curves that allow me to perform the yoga moves I love, and that make me sexy and vibrant and healthy; it’s my curves that give me strength. When my body resembles a straight line, I am physically weaker, emotionally more restless and volatile, spiritually distanced from that which I truly value in this world; when I am curvy, I may feel slightly more self-conscious on a “bad” day – but I am markedly more alive. Curves are stronger than straight lines; wow. A lovely truth.
Postscript: My prediction when I left the house early this evening (that going to class would make me feel better) absolutely held true. I adore how a quality yoga session/experience can TRANSFORM my mind, and give me strength via a positive outlook, renewed perspective, and rejuvenated energy. Yay yoga! : )