For some time now, I've felt out of control of my life. Floundering. Not living the plan I made for myself so long ago.
My family has been surrounded by sickness and death. The economy has devastated many of my loved ones. And for the last 9 months, my husband and I have had to communicate via text messaging and notes left on the kitchen counter because he works the 12 hour night shift and I work the 12 hour day shift.
While I can't control much of what is happening around me, I decided that I can work on how I deal with these obstacles. I've always tried to take good care of myself physically but never paid much attention to the overall well-being of my mental health.
In a recent conversation with my daughter, I was complaining to her how frustrated I was with the fact that I was running an average of 15 miles per week yet my body wasn't changing at all; the shape or the weight. She brilliantly said, "Mom, your body is used to doing what you've been asking it to do for so long now. You've got to give it a shock. Ask it to do something different." I thought about this profound statement and wondered what could I do to elongate my muscles and stretch out my soreness...
About four weeks ago, I started attending yoga classes on a regular basis. Since then, I have lost 10.5 pounds and over an inch off my hips. And while I'm ecstatic about those results, what's made me even more happy is the calmness this practice brings me.
For an hour and fifteen minutes a few times a week, I am at complete peace. My mind is free of worry and concern and heartbreak and sadness and critical thinking of my own body (my hips are too wide, my hair is too dry, my nose is too big, my arms are too long...). For those 75 glorious minutes, I am okay. I am quiet. I am satisfied.
Last Thursday night, on a whim, I went to a class that I was sure going to help me unwind from another hectic day. I double checked the schedule I had here at the house and noted the instructor, a female, was one I had not had before. When I arrived at the facility and walked into the Paper Lantern Room, I met Blake. Far from the female instructor listed on my schedule. Immediately I had reservations. Not sure why...not at ALL sure why.
Blake's class was one of the best I've ever taken. His deep, monotoned voice was music to my ears, which had heard nothing but the beeping of IVs and the moaning of people in pain all day. He was strong, forceful in his teaching. He would get us in a position and then read to us - READ TO US, people. He read the resounding words from a yogi expert I am clueless about but am now grateful to. He read to us about love, about loving ourselves and our earth and one another. He brought me solitude and comfort that evening. And he helped us to understand that we had the power within ourselves to go to a peaceful place whenever we needed to - i.e. when we're surrounded by death and sadness and feeling out of control of our lives.
It's my desire to continue to practice yoga. And while it started out for me as a way to change my body - which is has, does and will - it's become a way for me to change my mind. Not necessarily the way I think of things, but how I use it. It has the power to take me to my grounded place.
And while my schedule won't always allow me to attend every class Blake teaches, I plan on spending as many evenings with him as I can.
All the Paper Lantern Room needs now is a bistro table and a bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Namaste, Blake. Namaste.