In yoga we talk a lot about finding comfort in the discomfort. Whether it’s in a 3-minute dragon pose, a sequence of intense warrior postures or in meditation, finding ease in our bodies and, much harder to do, in our minds is a challenge. Breath can certainly guide us there, but often times even with breath it’s hard to find ease, in life and on the mat.
Monday night I found myself in Jonathan’s 5:30 p.m. class at the Sports Barn, my yoga home for three years. The last class I had been to there was the Thursday before we packed my stuff up and headed to Miami: I had assisted Jess E.’s class on backbending, and I got to love on many of the yogis I regularly practiced with.
But outside of teacher training last weekend, it was the first time I had been back in my landing spot, my second home, as one yogi called it. I arrived early and rolled around on my mat, feeling the effects of the weekend’s super backbending/shoulder integration. I looked around, watching students filter in, before finding child’s pose, the ultimate counter posture to a weekend of opening and acceptance.
As I quieted my mind, I felt the tears come on. Among the excitement and eagerness to get settled in Miami, to adjust to my new life and home and love, I had to come back to Chattanooga. And I resisted. Being so eager to settle in Miami and with Jeff, coming to my second home felt hard. My hair keeps falling out, I’m rapidly changing environments, and I’m facing a much greater challenge of working for myself. Add to that the final two weekends of teacher training, a process and journey that kickstarted transition and personal growth that has been ongoing since October.
There on the mat, though, I couldn’t be happier to be back at my second home.
I kept breathing, and slowly walked back up to a seat. Then out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Brittany, one of my oldest and dearest friends, just behind me, mat rolled out. My heart and body smiled.
We moved together, as a room and as one breath, through a challenging, hot flow that left me feeling accomplished. Somewhere in the middle, in a deep urdhva dhanurasana, I felt an incredible line of energy from the outside of my ankles all the way along my legs. When I came down, I collapsed in a pile of laughter, breaking the silence of breath in the room.
While my experience at my second home has been filled with story telling and sharing, it’s mostly been about listening. Supporting. Helping. It helps me realize that I’m not only here to finish training; I’m here to be a friend, a daughter, a sister, a colleague. A listener.
Jonathan, someone I consider one of my teachers, posted this on my Facebook wall. It brought me to tears.
“Our teachers are everywhere, in the form of people we love, people we don’t ever care to see again, and all the rest in between. They come to us for momentary meetings, once-in-a-lifetime interactions, like the guy in the suit, or they stay for longer, like our love relationships or family. We can’t know when our teachers will hop on that train with us, or for how long they’ll be riding along on the trip of our life. One thing we can be certain of, however, is this:
Every person you meet is simply you, asking yourself to find and then act from the integrity of your truth, which is love.”
And I’m all ears.