Driven by kernels of cautious optimism, I make my way to yin practice with Vanessa. Coincidentally, I am reminded of university as I settle in on the mat and Vanessa tell us that today’s practice will be enhanced by mantras which she will share with us as we get into each pose. I’m ready to learn, and take mental notes.
My truth is that my knee hurts, and this is simply a fact, not something I am required to have an opinion abut, judge, or be angry at. It just is. My only reaction is to accommodate, or acknowledge and allow it to be, and to move through the remainder of my practice in a way that serves me, and my knee. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
As I muse about my trip to Italy in September, I think “Oh I must take my mat with me” and just like that, all my former labels melt away…. In the same way I’m no longer “not a morning person”, I am also no longer “someone who would never work out on holiday”. Happily, I shed the labels.
My practice is is strong, invigorating and confident. I move with optimistic breaths, truly grateful for what my body allows me to do on the mat, and off the mat. I dedicate 100% of me to my practice today, and with no work calls, emails or Whatsapps to distract me and excite my monkey mind, I find myself in a moving meditation and feeling really really good.
Having walked through confusion for some time now, looking for my bearings in every nook and cranny, I think about what clarity looks like. It has been some time since chaos has become the status quo for my mind, and as soon as Sara speaks those words, I begin to actively seek out, and even crave, some stillness.
While there is the option to practice at home of course, I decide to instead take a rest day, forgiving myself as I would a friend for not showing up because sometimes, life gets in the way, but also sometimes, we really really don’t feel like it.
As a student of tennis, my expectation of progress has been highly biased. From lesson to lesson with a racquet in my hand, the progress is discernible, not just from session to session, but even throughout a session itself. It’s a continuous ego boost; a potent drug with no harmful side effects. Yoga is the opposite.
Directly to my right is a practitioner I met recently at Urban Yoga, and who I happen to have shared a handful of practices with. It comforts me to have someone whose energy I connected to upon first meeting with right there next to me.
To me, yin is an invitation to quiet the body, quiet the mind, and look inwards. Despite an arduous day that feels riddled with potholes I’m unable to avoid, I arrive at Urban Yoga with a smile on my face and a lightness of spirit I haven’t felt in some time.
The practice is thoughtful, more about the how than the what, and my approach is that of a scientist. Move X to achieve Y. Adjust A to arrive at B. It’s methodical and pragmatic and that’s a really really comfortable state for me to be in.