I'm definitely a vinyasa girl. I like to flow from one pose to another, not staying in any one pose too long. Slower classes don't feel like a work out to me. Yes, I'm aware that yoga is so much more than a "work out". But I'm a bit type A so while I'm finding some inner peace I need to be burning some calories too.
This week I got an email from a local studio offering a 2 1/2 hour restorative & yoga nidra workshop. Two and a half hours of holding supported poses, a very very slow practice and long meditation. I'll be bored out of my mind. And staying in supported restorative poses gives me way too much time to think. Which leads to confronting issues I have so far successfully avoided dealing with.
No, restorative yoga and long meditation is not what I need right now. There is too much in my life causing me stress and pain. I need to move and sweat and push it away. This restorative class has potential to be emotional and I'm sooooo tired of being emotional.
But I didn't delete the email. When Kid 2 invited friends over to watch football Sunday afternoon I figured it was my perfect excuse not to go to yoga. Why spend 2 1/2 hours on my yoga mat when I could be home eating junk food with my teenager and his friends?
Still I didn't delete the email. And Saturday night at 11:50pm I finally logged on and registered for the workshop.
I walked into the yoga studio and thought 'I'm home'. As I got situated on my mat I knew this was going to be exactly what I was afraid of. Exactly what I expected. Exactly what I needed.
With the help of bolsters and blankets my body sank into the poses and relaxed. As my body opened up my mind started chattering. Every issue, every worry came rushing at me at once. What do I do about work? Where will I find a job that pays me what I need yet lets me still be a mom? Is it time to move on? To try something new? How do I let go of the old? How do I walk away from what I've loved?
This is too much. I can't process it all and I don't know what to do about any of it.
But I fought the urge to get up and leave and instead rearranged myself into the next long held restorative pose.
Eventually my body released and I began to feel lighter. I was able to follow the instructors cues and tune in to my breath. The more I breathed the more clear the chatter in my head became. And eventually, it too, slowed down.
I think I might have dozed off a little during the yoga nidra portion. I don't remember all of it. I know I became aware again when I heard the phrase 'I am always safe in the center of my being'. How true that is. When I feel scared and unsure, I can feel safe again by getting low, getting quiet and tuning inward.
I left the studio emotionally drained yet lighter. And more calm than I have felt in a long time.
And I got home in time to eat too much junk food and watch football with friends and family.
Tonight, as I was browsing through Facebook, I saw this notification:
Today, Jennifer, we believe God wants you to know that ...
if you relax, it comes.
Don't seek, don't search, don't ask, don't knock, don't demand - relax. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, God shows you the way.
How appropriate for my day. Instead of muscling my way through a yoga practice and trying to sweat out the voices in my head, I got quiet. I got still. And my path became a bit more clear.