Thursday, December 23, 2010


I found a way to attend yoga this morning, for which my body was exceedingly grateful.
at least I think it was.
it's hard to know, sometimes, exactly what one's body is telling one. it might be telling me thank you, I love you, you were so wise to get up and go to 6 am yoga, or instead it might be saying, I'm going to pretend I liked that but I much rather would have stayed in bed and slept a little longer . . .
those tight spots, tender spots, creaks and groans are sometimes hard to interpret.
but everyone says yoga is so good for you, so I'm going to assume my body is like most other bodies and that it somehow benefited from those asanas I forced it into earlier today.

there were three of us in class this morning: two who are gumby people, and me. and then the instructor herself, who is even more flexible than gumby, but who dislocated her shoulder recently (while skiing) and was thus restricted by a contraption which held her arm positioned carefully away from her body. whew. obviously I'm sorry for her injury and resultant pain and inconvenience, but I was relieved to not have to watch her do super-bendy, super-graceful yoga and demonstrate the monstrous difference between her abilities and mine.

and during this class, during an asana that pushed a few of my muscles, ligaments, and other inner-thingees just a millimeter or two (or five) past their comfort zones, our instructor brought up the concept of stasis. stasis, a state of static (nonmoving) balance or equilibrium.
I like this word, this concept.

at times during yoga class we are in stasis. we hold our pose, opposing forces in balance, keeping us from moving. our right arm stretches and pushes toward the front wall, our left does the same to the rear, our hips lean to the left and our thighs pull us back to the right: yoga is a study of oppositional energy that creates stasis.

I often think of the song, dare you to move by switchfoot. perhaps it's the catchy tune, and perhaps it's the concept. I think of this song when I'm indecisive, when I am caught between shoulds and have-to's and wannas. when I'm in an uncomfortable, unproductive stasis. I dare myself to move one way or another, to make a choice, to accept what results from my movement.
and other times I sit in stasis. I stay there, knowing that all of the activity in the world won't change my fundamental truths. I stay there, knowing that inner tension holds me together, opposing forces cancel each other out, and that time spent as a human being is often the most important time I spend.

it's all about balance. balancing stasis and movement, dares and acceptance of what is. accepting that sometimes I need to swoop down hills after pedaling furiously up, and sometimes I need to hold myself quietly in tree pose, balancing on one leg, lifting my arms up to the sky. and letting the shoulds and could-haves drift slowly down and off my limbs until they rest upon the floor in their own states of (hopefully) permanent stasis.

No comments: