Thursday, June 14, 2012

smile, breathe

Yoga 1 week later, same circumstances, didn't leave the house all day, it was hot outside, I was feeling down, but 10 minutes until it would have been too late to leave for class, I just convinced myself to go because it just does me so good (so, soo good) and Krista, well she is just such a great teacher it made my  decision that much easier.

It was 96..7…8...9* degrees outside on this June afternoon.
The room inside was just as hot.

Vinyasa, for all intensive purposes it means flow.
Imagine, move and hot, move in hot, then move and hot, and then more move in hot: 
an imagine puddle of sweat was happening.
It started quickly and progressed from a plop..plop..plop, to a constant stream. 
 My mind chuckled recalling wanting to be in a pool just the other day and realizing that I got my wish:
I was in a pool...of my own sweat.

Krista, she told a story to set the intention for the class - she spent the earlier part of her afternoon in the Mission District, and having to use the restroom, found the closest one in a seedy bar a few doors down the block. The bathroom walls covered in ink and graffiti, the messages scrawled not to be repeated in class save one: Smile, you never know it might change someone else's day.
I haven't been smiling a lot, really at all.
I took that message as personal and to heart.
Another reminder: with the good, the bad, the ugly, let it all out, get through it, open your heart.

"Bow to your practice, bow to your friends,
and from an old lady, when you find real, genuine friends, keep them."
Oh that message, the message of clinging to, treasuring, and holding your friends close,
that one spoke straight to the heart of me.

It was a really tough class. I felt really strong and then I felt really weak.
It was a battle, but that was fine today because warrior pose is my favorite
and there was a lot of warrior flow today.

Standing there, feet planted intentionally, arms outstretched, staring down my arm towards my fingertips like I was staring down barrel of a gun, watching the sweat glisten off my arm, over my shoulder, past the tattoos, rolling to my forearm, and then dripping down off my elbow onto the floor.
I felt strong standing there like that.
As we came to the end, she said this is a special class "my lambs, because this is my last for this time slot."

I sunk a little bit.

She said "it's too hot and I am too old to keep teaching in this hot of a class, my mother was younger than me when she passed and I have to listen to my body."
I can understand that.
When I looked up, I noticed 3 or 4 other women crying, and I know what that feels like,
'cause I come to yoga for the same reasons they do.

Much to our comfort and to stop our tears, Krista assured us she would still be teaching Sunday, Mellow Flow. Church Flow, that's what she calls it, and that's what I call it too.
It'll go on, they'll be another great teacher for the midafternoon class and I'll keep going to Church Flow,
but just when I thought this class would be an easy go of it, it never is.

Be with your breath.

Just keeps reminding me of the birthday present that I am going to get and all of the moments in life when you have to remember to breath, and that really if you can't breath, you can't live.

If you're heart stops beating, your lungs stop pumping.
Even while you're heart can still pump, your lungs can stop breathing and although we've found ways to work around that, lack of breath is lack of life.

It's the painful and deliberate consideration of compassion family members have to make when they have loved ones at the end. Do we let them live on machines?
What kind of quality of life is that?
We've had those conversations in my family,
more frequently now as the older generation continues to get older

Very, very recently, I know what the pain of that decision looks like, what it feels like, what it does to a family. The decision to "unhook" the machines and let the last few breaths come
slow, unsteady, but natural until the last one.

I hear the words echo in my head from a memorial service I just attended a few weeks prior:
"It was my privilege to be there for my precious baby to take her first breath, and it was my privilege to be there, on Mother's Day, to hold her in my arms as she took her last."
The end of breath is the end of life.
Well, life here, in this body, as we know it tangibly.

Still thinking, of all the times you're nervous and someone said to you, your mom,
your coach, your trainer, your best friend "just take a deep breath"

All those times I've said it, hundreds.of.thousands.of.times now over
"just take a deep breath"
"just calm down and then answer me"
"just remind them to breathe"
"are they breathing?"
"can you feel, see, or hear any breath coming out?"
"just keep monitoring their breathing and let me know if anything changes"

Labor, bringing life into the world, what do they teach you?
Breathe, you have to breathe, breathe through the contraction, breathe through the pain.

So any question I had about my birthday present has been put to rest.

Just breathe.
Smile and just breathe.


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