I lost my Vinyasa virginity

It's been exceptionally warm lately. Lovely. My heart smiles just by the thought. Everything feels easier, lighter, calmer. My body is grateful.

I had my first real yoga class just a short week ago, and it was a very special experience for me. It was a soft class of Yin inspired yoga, focusing on shoulders and back, which are some of my big problem areas. I had only watched yoga tutorials and videos on YouTube - and practiced on my own prior to this class, so it was just the perfect way to be introduced to yoga in real life. Calm and therapeutic. It was simply amazing, and the teacher was a perfect match for me, so I impulsively joined the gym immediately after the session. I must have been high on essential oils or something, because whenever I've tried to be a member of a gym before, it hasn't worked out. No pun intended. I'm too independent/stubborn/self-reliant/introverted, but I think (and hope) this time might be different, as I've found something that I truly enjoy doing. 

But, that wasn't really the experience I was going to write about now.

Last Sunday, the wife and I headed downtown to the docks to attend my (and our) first Vinyasa Flow class. Yoga teacher Daniella started this weekly summer class sometime last year, as a way of spreading the joy of yoga. It's all completely voluntary and based on donations, so the karma is strong with that one. The whole experience turned out to be rather surreal. And really, really, really hard.

The dock is on the river bed and the water is calm. Except for a few small boats making tiny waves and ripples on the water, it was all rather quiet. Some trains rushed by not far from us, but the tiny waves splashing on the dock drowned out the noise with a beautiful repetitive sound. Like a song. The sun was frying the soles of our feet while we sat and waited for Daniella to take the lead. I had not worked out for years prior to this, except for my own calm interpretation of yoga at home and a short run every eleventh month or so. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

35 minutes later I was flat on my face, staring through the cracks of the wooden dock down at the water. Sun salutation and downward dog number 27-ish (probably more like 4) was too much for me, and I was panting. My arms were shaking, knees burning and I regret that I had gotten out of bed that morning. I desperately needed a water break and childs pose. Inhale, exhale. shhhhh. While the class continued another 20 minutes, I did my best to try and keep up, but had a nagging feeling that I was failing miserably. I accepted my feelings and decided to just go with the flow. Not giving up. A half moon and nine planks later, I collapsed into Savasana and closed my eyes. The wind tickled my eyelashes and spread Daniella's sweet, lavender oils among us. I opened my eyes as an unfamiliar sound rushed above my head, and I kid you not; five swans flew over us. The sound of some kind of birds and flapping wings were unusually loud, so I had to look. Beautiful long necks headed south east in the sky. I couldn't help but smile and let out a little laugh as I settled into Savasana again. 


Because I can

This summer I want to meditate and swim. I want to do yoga in the sun and I want to eat all the watermelon I can carry home with me. I want to drink sparkling water and pick wild flowers. I want to take my lil family for long walks in the woods, and sleep outside in a tent where I'll wake up all sweaty and nostalgic. I want to strengthen my body and calm my mind. I want to feel the wind on my skin and grass underneath my feet. Go on road trips and eat ice cream and look at pretty things.

And I get to do all this. Because I can. I'm lucky.


Grounded for life

I don't know where this new found calmness comes from. Or, I do know, but I'm finding it hard to believe - and understand. It's all a little confusing, to be honest. I've always been a sensitive girl, and a little (a lot) strange, but this feels different somehow. Maybe I'm having a manic episode/mental breakdown, and I don't even realize it. If I am, that's OK, because it's making me feel good, and everything that makes me feel good is OK in my book. Calmness is not something that comes easy for me, it never has been, so I'm welcoming it with my arms (and chakras) wide open.

I'm just feeling more grounded. It's weird, because I always thought I was rather down to earth, but now I see that I might have been floating around like an old balloon for quite some time. Much like the ones that escape from children's sticky McDonald's fingers and just float around aimlessly for a couple of weeks. I'm glad I'm not that balloon anymore. It's nice down here where the wild flowers grow, and the hedgehogs wobbles. I think I'll stay here for a while.


Ph. Julie Pike