Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Humble Your Warrior

I’ve practiced yoga for years. Hot yoga for the last few months. But last Friday I felt like a complete newbie.

I’d heard people talk before about sudden waves of emotion during yoga, about getting weepy or panicked, needing to rest. It had never happened to me before, so perhaps my inner warrior grew a bit… cocky.

The hot yoga class I take is an hour and twenty minutes. I went every weekday last week, so by Friday I was on my fifth day in a row. The first half of the class was great, though I did notice that it seemed even hotter than usual, well over 105˚. During the second half of the class, I found myself thinking about death.

That’s odd, I thought, as death is clearly not the intention I set at the beginning of this class. 

But it wouldn’t go away. Death was in my head. The deaths of loved ones, my own death, and whether or not I was going to die of a heart attack right there on the studio floor. I backed off, went to child’s pose, focused on breathing out longer than in. I couldn’t slow my heart rate and my throat began to choke with emotion.

Then I did something I’ve never done before. I left early. Never bailing on a class is something I pride myself on. After all, I’m the person that suffers through a class even with the worst of wardrobe malfunctions (which you can read about here). But maybe my pride had grown out of hand. I had to leave. I mouthed the words I’m sorry to the instructor, who graciously smiled and mouthed back it’s okay.

I’ve had three successful classes since then. I’m glad that it hasn’t happened again, but I also know that I’ll be okay if it does. It’s a practice, after all. And every now and then it’s good to humble your warrior. 

I don't see the word death in there anywhere, do you?

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