At hot yoga today, we were each lying in a helpless swoon on our respective mats, recovering from camel pose. You only get thirty seconds or so for the rushing noise in your ears to quiet, and just enough time to lie there and blink until your vision clears.
It’s better than it sounds. Two classes a week since Thanksgiving, and I can feel things releasing that I didn’t even know were knotted up. At one point a couple of weeks ago, I realized something was different: it had been twenty-four hours since I’d thought about the sand spur in my back, which had taken up long-term residence when the muscle spasms in May subsided into a constant low-grade ache, interrupted only by sharp twinges whenever I made a sudden move. It’s not entirely gone, but I’ve gone whole days without noticing it. It’s amazing what that can do to your outlook.
So we’re lying on the floor, and the teacher is murmuring patient and kind words which I’m too dizzy to hear. But when lucidity returns, he’s telling us that there’s a reason we’re working so hard. Every micro adjustment, he says, opens up a tiny bit of space that wasn’t there before. And then the next pose gives you an opportunity to use that space, and stretch a little further, and feel something new. When you start finding bits of space that weren’t there before, things inside you start to change, and you begin to think differently about what you can and can’t do.
Of course, it’s not just physical, or even mostly physical. It all goes back to “unwrap your guarded heart,” doesn’t it? What else would that process be, if it’s not taking down walls and creating space all around it for something new to come in? Even if it’s just a tiny bit of space at a time? Get some daylight in there, clear out the cobwebs, and open a window or two to bring in some fresh air?
Who knows what’ll happen.