With my eyes closed, I chant my aums and sing the mantras. After pranayama breathing exercises, one of two things will happen. Either I will think about what I’m going to eat for lunch, or my mind will clear and I will see myself free falling head-first into darkness.
“People are afraid to go upside down. You need to give them all of the options.”
Lily is instructing us on how to teach headstands. I love headstands, but I haven’t done one in weeks. Suffice it to say, I’m feeling slightly uneasy in this pose.
It’s okay, though. Apparently my subconscious is feeling it, too.
I’ve been at Yoga Camp for two weeks now. The past couple weeks have been filled with moments of struggle, but time has started to move quicker. Lessons have become more enjoyable. I’ve found myself with little free time to do anything much more than feel exhausted. Meditation has even become less difficult(sometimes).
After a few hours respite in civilization on the mainland last Sunday, I felt like I wasn’t stuck in the Bermuda triangle anymore. I came to a realization while standing on the beach, staring at the stars and waiting for a taxi boat.
I can take everything I’m learning right now with a grain of salt. Although that may sound simple enough, being inundated with information for twelve hours a day amid a complete life transition can sometimes feel a bit daunting.
I can choose to learn as much as I possibly can, internally process it, and enjoy it in the moment. I have always believed some of what I’m learning in this course to a small extent; however, I have the choice every day to take the good, the ridiculous, and the absolutely insane, and I believe what I want. I can laugh along the way. I can open my mind and heart and just choose to love the whole experience.
Lily told us we were all meant to be here; it’s our karma. In the end, I know why I’m here. I know it was no one else’s ideas, influences, or hard work that got me here but my own. Maybe it was written in the stars; perhaps I am meant to be here. Any way around it, I know my own reasons for doing yoga, and I know I don’t need to follow anyone else’s agenda.
There are no rules to yoga. I can make up my own rules along the way. Heck, I can make up my own dang asanas if I want! I’m doing this because I love it and as long as what I’m doing makes me feel good, then that is what is right.
I stumbled through the past week, half zombie-like, with this realization. It wasn’t until Thursday when, in a bout of sweat-drenched exhaustion, another great moment of awareness washed over me.
I had locked my keys in my hut.
There’s a window that has refused to close in my hut for the past two weeks. I stopped trying to shut it and shoved the curtains in the cracks to prevent mosquitos from coming in. I was by no means a disbeliever in any of this karma stuff that my teachers have been going on about; however, everything seemed to make sense in this very moment.
Reception gave me an extra key that didn’t work in my padlocked front door. In my mind, there was only one option: I was going through that window.
In class over the past couple weeks, we’ve been talking about this “zipping up” feeling in our core, or central channels. Your central channel needs to “snap in,” giving you structure; balance. In order to get into a headstand, your energy needs to be in line. Your toes reach up to the cosmos and your hands, head, and the trunk of your body root you into the earth. This is how you feel grounded. Unyielding.
Maybe it was the ayurvedic herbs I had taken that morning; maybe it was the serotonin being released from standing on my head all day; maybe it was just an adrenaline rush; but I felt that internal zip when I pulled myself through that window.
My window refused to close until that moment for a reason. Perhaps it just needed to be pried open in order to shut properly again. Or maybe – just maybe – it was karma (yeah… karma). Maybe the Universe knew that I would be completely mentally and physically exhausted and I’d lock my keys in the hut at some point. That I’d need to jump up, grab on, and use all my strength to hoist my leg through and pull myself into the only window that refused to lock in my little wooden box. Whatever it was, I said a little prayer of gratitude to the universe after the ordeal and I truly felt it.
The window in question, to the left of the door. Yuuup… that one waaay up there.
And the aftermath.
I’m taking everything day by day – and some days are harder than others – but that afternoon, it all seemed to come together. A feeling of this is where I’m supposed to be washed over me. I was able to simply be and enjoy that moment.
I realized while lying in savasana today after asana class and another round of meditation: perhaps what I’m seeing when I close my eyes is not myself falling. Maybe I’m giving into gravity – letting go – and I need to just trust that the Earth will be there to catch me, whichever way I land.