Monday, November 24, 2008

Pushing out from the center

A few days ago, I discovered with a start, that I appeared to be doing a level 3 pose in my vinyasa class.  I am still certain that I must be doing something wrong.  And this is certainly the only level 3 pose I can do, and really, just on the one side, the right side.  

The pose is half-moon.  This involves balancing on one leg (say, the right leg), bringing the other leg up to hip level, straight out, foot pressed into, well, the air, and left hip opening up along the plane of the torso.  The left arm is straight up, fingers extended, and the right arm straight down.  The right arm can balance or press into a block or the floor.  Except if you are doing a level 3 version, in which the right arm hovers off the floor.  

Let's not say that I work on this pose.  Because I don't.  I really don't.  I go to yoga once a week lately, but usually twice a week.  And, very un-yoga-like, I, um, cannot find the time to do the poses and so on during the other days of the week.  Structure, force of habit, and someone telling me what to do are the things I require lately for exercise.  Kind of like knowing that intervals and running hills are really good training for the 400m and 800m, except Kathy would kind of do that stuff on her own, and I really needed, um, my coach to initiate that kind of pain.  Or Kathy.  You have never really exercised until you've worked with a women's track team: girls will try to both out-do each other in the pain and agony department, and are far more creative at out-whining each other than the boys.  Far more creative.  We have all kinds of excuses for cramping, and seeing just how far you can push your male coach on that score without him either blowing up or blushing could be a true team effort.

But I digress.  So my yoga instructor calls out the variations for half-moon, noting that "hovering" is a level 3 pose.  Unless that means hovering both hands and feet off the floor, and I just mistook her.  I nearly fell over.

Because, I am telling you, I am not ever going to do a head stand.  My daughter has a book by Lauren Child called, "I Am Not Ever Going to Eat a Tomato." Even if I can sort of get one foot off the floor right now.  If I don't really think about it.  And I won't.  I don't really like being upsidedown.  Call me a control freak.  I don't care.

But half-moon is another story.  That I like.  This business of pushing out from the center in all directions.  And balancing.  My emotional life with my children and all that other stuff that goes on that I refuse to talk about: I am in emotional half-moon all day long, all week long, every day of my life, it seems.  But on an emotional level, it generally feels like flying apart in every direction.  On a physical level, in the yoga studio, there is a strong abdominal core holding me in place, holding me almost in mid-air, both pushing out and pulling in at the same time.  

Now to look for that same strength in my heart and thoughts.  That is the challenge, isn't it?

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Last year, this new doctor that I went to see placed his hand over mine which was lying on top of my stomach, just below my navel. He pushed hard on top of my hand which pushed into my stomach. And he told me to "feel it." And I did -- this thump, thump, thump that he told me was my core, my life force. What connects me to my children and what connected me to my own mother. Sounds like your yoga pose -- your strong core.