#reverb10 Day 3: Moment

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards

One of the highlights of my year, was the 37 Day  Bikram Yoga Challange I did in celebration of my birthday

There is much about that day which I don’t remember.

I don’t remember the drive to the yoga studio.  Was I was running late?  Did I sit anxiously in traffic worrying that I might not make it in time and cursing myself for leaving so late? Or was traffic so light that I arrived with time to spare,  feeling  calm and relaxed?

I don’t remember what kind of mood I was in. Was I stressed?  Tired? Angry? Sad? Was it one of those days when I dreaded going to class? Or was I eagerly anticipating the warm, humid embrace of the studio?

I don’t recall the weather.  Was it raining? Or was it one of those perfect days with temperatures – neither too hot nor too cold -  and cloudless azure skies, which often occur at the intersection of summer and autumn?

I don’t remember who was working the reception desk or which of my fellow practitioners  I greeted in the hallway or chatted with in the changing room.

I’m not sure which part of the yoga studio I placed my mat in. It may have been in my favorite spot, wedged into the front right corner of the room and sheltered by the wall on my right.  Or perhaps the back row, where the wall at my back would afford me the comfort of  not having anyone behind me to watch and perhaps judge my practice.   I might even have felt particularly brave that day and decided to forgo the safety of being next to a wall.  If so, I might have  set myself up in the dead center of the room, surrounded on all sides by other people. Anchorless in the sweating, pulsing sea of  bodies.

Surprisingly, I don’t even remember which instructor led the class that day. Was it the one whose classes feel like boot camp because she has a habit of making us hold each pose for what seems like an eternity? Was it the owner of the studio who has such a loving energy and soothing voice, that her classes often seem to me, to be profoundly spiritual?  Maybe it was the newly trained teacher, her voice quivering ever so slightly with new teacher nerves.

What I do remember with incredible clarity is how I felt in that class.

ALIVE.

I felt alive.

It was magical. An experience unlike any other I’d ever had.  Never before and not since have I had a class like that.

I’m not sure why, but everything in me just worked. It seemed that, for the first time in my practice – and perhaps in my life – mind, body and spirit where in perfect harmony.

My mind was crystal clear and I was able to focus on myself and only myself with no effort. I was deep into my own practice. Everyone else in the room receded into the background and I came into even sharper focus.

My body felt so strong!  I watched myself move with astonishing grace and flexibility.  I felt like I was dancing and the rhythm to which I moved was that of my own heartbeat. Every move I made seemed perfectly choreographed and I didn’t miss a beat.

My spirit was light and bright. I seemed to hum with the very energy of the universe.

I was unaware of the heat. I’m sure that sweat was beading on my face and limbs, dripping onto my towel as if watering the ground into which my two feet were planted – but I didn’t feel it.

My breathing was deep, effortless and constant.

I watched myself in the mirror without judgment, my mind seeming to just observe my movements. For once looking into my own eyes in the mirror wasn’t uncomfortable. I felt no urge to look away. I didn’t look at other people in the room and compare myself to them, wishing that I was as strong or as skinny or as flexible or as beautiful as them.

It was just me.

I didn’t have to constantly force myself to stop criticizing my own body. Wishing  that my stomach was flatter, my calves bigger, my butt smaller, my boobs perkier or my nose narrower.

I just saw myself. Clearly. Just ME. And I was OK with that. In fact I was great with that.

What is most remarkable about that 90 minute moment of dancing with myself is that for first time in all my 37 years, I was aware of feeling good being in my own skin.

  • http://lisa-unmasked.com Lisa MB

    WOW!

    What a powerful moment. I’ve always imagined the moment I feel good in my own skin will feel like this. And the funny part? In 45 years, I’ve only come while lifting weights or doing yoga.

    Thank you for helping me say YES (my 2011 word) to taking that feeling off the mat & into every aspect of my life. :)

  • Anonymous

    Hey Lisa,

    I’m so happy that my post connected with you. YES. What a wonderful word. I always hear my yoga instructors talking about how our practice is a classroom which teaches us lessons for our lives. The trick is taking what we learn out of the yoga room. Here’s to 2011 being the year we bring those feelings to our daily lives.

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