I am not a huge believer in the power of Resolutions. I make them every New Year, again around Ash Wednesday, again on my birthday, and usually I throw in a few in the fall for good measure. There are lists of resolutions I make during Statistics class scrawled in my notebook next to the illegible symbols and formulae that I am supposed to know how to use. Most of the lists could be carbon copies of one another. For all my resolve to tie on those running shoes while scribbling in the back row of a math class, they are still collecting dust by the door.
Every New Year for at least the past three, one resolution has continued to make the list, to no avail:
Take A Yoga Class.
I have never been to a yoga class. I have never seen anyone actually *doing* yoga. I don't know where it comes from, exactly, or what all the different kinds of Yoga are, or why there are so many, or if they all get along or not. But from the bits and pieces I've picked up on, it seems like a good thing overall. You move, you stretch, you breathe. Your heart rate gets a little elevated. You do it in a room full of people who you hope are more enlightened than you are - in as much as they are focused on their own movement and not your wobbling pigeon toes.
Tuesday, I saw a flier - one of the many Yoga fliers often lost in the blanket of for-sale, for-rent, for-free paper on the wall of Alaska Coffee Roasters - that Interior Yoga was starting a new class cycle. This week. The only class that fit my schedule was the next night. Tonight.
Some things are best done without thinking. I have overthought Yoga in the past, trying to research styles, figure out what kind of class I need, reading artciles about picking out instructors. Yet Take A Yoga Class kept ending up on my list, year after year. Lots of things in my life are like that - too much thinking and plotting and planning, not enough being and doing and walking through the door.
So after dropping Peter off at work, I drove over to the brand new Interior Yoga facility and tromped through the snow and inside. There was quite a crowd at the door, peeling off layers and depositing dripping snow boots to the corner. The class was very full and the instructor was busy directing people to the bathroom, the boiler room (to change) and the mats. I was pretty intimidated by the shuffle and banter, but the instructor was sweet and encouraging to my deer-in-the-headlights inqiry about what to do, and I quickly settled near the back on my little green mat.
Over the next hour and a half, I streached, twisted, moved and breathed. It's amazing what a change just paying attention to breath can bring to your body, even though its something we do unconciously through every moment. I peered through the bodies around me to see which way each limb was supposed to be contorted. I listened to those around me breathe, cough, laugh, groan. Watched as some reached far further than I could, and others barely bent. While some balanced without a waver and others toppled into the wall (a beginners class, after all. I did some toppling myself.)
After class, while rolling up my mat and lining up to pay for the session, I got into a conversation with the teacher and another student. One of them is in the middle of getting certified to teach, the other just came back from her first three years teaching - in the bush. We stood around and chatted long after the building had cleared out. I think it was the first conversation I've had with women my age since we got here in August. That was nearly as refreshing as the Yoga.