This morning I took a real, old-fashioned yoga class. The kind I used to take long before vinyasa came to town. Back where it all started for me. With Iyengar yoga. My body nearly forgot how that goes. How you stay long enough in each pose to truly take your seat in it. To asana. Just sit and breathe with what is. No direction to the breath even; simply letting the breath be what it is in that particular pose. Just allow the props to hold and cradle, push and lift.
I am hanging upside down on the wall like a bat and I release fully into the weight of me; I let every exhale sink me deeper into my own innerness. I give in and release and I am letting go to what is. There is no music to float away upon. The teacher is still. There is no incessant dharma talk to soothe what arises from within. I am just present to the current state of affairs in my life; I feel a big, quiet space open up inside.
I am arched back and inverted; my brain is below my heart; giving the heart the upper hand perhaps. Bathing my brain in the blood from my heart perhaps. Now I allow the Spirit of my breath to find its way into all the places where it doesn't get to go much because it's too much. It's all too much.
Now I am fully present to the current conditions of my life and it really is too much; and perhaps I took to using yoga as the escape; the reprieve from it all; a place to numb the pain through physical expertise.
But here I am with my legs in the air and my back arched upon a chair; I am in it. I am in the divorce proceedings that won't end; that drain too much of my life force into a black, greedy hole. I am also the strong dog walking through unknown, dark territories with my pups. I am the hair standing up along my spine when a branch breaks behind me and another appeal is filed and I lick my sweeties reassuringly: Mama's got this. No fear, dear. I'm here. Holding a shield of calm, fierce love in place.
As I take my seat in these poses, long enough, the magnitude of it all is just here with me; and the pain is deep and dangerous. I know it will not last; I know it will be here now and it will also go away one day; eventually. But right now this is what I am dealing with. In this morning's yoga class, I was lead to a deep place of feeling that.
In savasana, I am nestled underneath a wool blanket; the tears of fear and grief and just plain overwhelm, flow, warm and salty. Silently from the silent space within; they run in a steady, stream into my ears. In this savasana I am given the time and the space and the quiet that I need for this.
For that I am grateful. From that place I will put one foot in front of the other - even if the territory is unknown and many breaking branches and legal maneuvers will scare me cold.
I am grateful to the teacher that held this space for me today. His name is William Prottengeier and I am very lucky because he is a master and he is teaching at St Paul Yoga Center which is right around the corner from my house.