About two months ago, the incomparable Neta Sparks opened a yoga studio in Tifton called Namaste Family Yoga. I was there with bells on. I had done yoga a few times over the years, and had even practiced semi-regularly on my own, but I’m always excited when some sort of new something opens in the small town I call home for the moment. I drug Dale along with me, terrified that he’d hate it and that I’d have to sneak out to get my stretch on.
I shouldn’t have worried. When we walked in and it smelled like incense and looked like everything you’d want a yoga studio to be, we were jazzed for ages. We signed up the first night, and we’ve been going at least a few times a week for the past two months. Although I usually attend the lower intensity Mind-Body classes, I’m working my way up to doing a few Power classes every week.
Over the last week or so, I’ve decided that going to yoga is becoming an important part of my sanity. The release that I get there makes every bad feeling go away. Even when I don’t want to go and I have to force myself to ride over there, afterwards, I’m always glad that I came. I always feel more awake. I always feel a little bit stronger. I always feel a little bit more on top of everything I have going on.
Right now, I’m reading a book on ashtanga yoga for one of the website’s I do semi-regular reviews for. The book is well-written, but I don’t understand half of it. It’s approach to yoga philosophy and practice sounds so hard and striving when the practice I’m being led in is so full of peace. I don’t know if I concede that yoga can reach the point of religious expression, but the idea of letting go of things you don’t need to hold onto, whether that’s tension in the neck or negativity from other people, has really resonated with me lately. If I put in the work, I can let go. And sometimes that’s all you need.
Something else that I wasn’t quite expecting was the odd little community that is spring up at the yoga studio. For the first month, there was pretty much the same crowd of us at each of the Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes. I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t know everyone’s name, but everyone gets there a little early, and we shoot the breeze, talk about the news, share little life hack tips. They’re all women who are a little bit older than me and Dale, but we’re a part of that community of people striving for something together. It’s intensely personal work that we’re all doing at the same time, so I recognize the value in other people rolling out the mat. I know that sounds crazy cheesy, but it’s true, and it makes me smile when I walk in and see the same faces (or new faces…new people aren’t bad either).
I’m only just starting out again. I have leg strength and flexibility, but my shoulders might as well be made of gelatin and the carpal tunnel in my right hand is impeding some of my progress. But I’ll get through it. And I’ll get better. One day at a time, micrometer by micrometer. And I’ll probably talk about it more, til you people are sick of hearing about it. But I’m seeking the highest in me.
‘Til next time,