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Yoga Speak: Obsession

Anne recalls her favorite Sunday morning class and its impact on freeing the mind.

It was the first chilly Sunday morning of the fall, and I was anxious to attend the 10 a.m. yoga class.  This is one of my favorite classes. It is the perfect hour, still the morning but with time to laze around a bit. It is crowded; the people are all friendly, and the class lasts longer than usual. There is something about the large group and the extra 15 minutes. From the start, the energy is high, and it is catching.

We moved from pose to pose with the instructor taking us through many different sequences.  We moved from Yoga Squat to Crow to Warrior III. We flowed from Warrior II to Triangle Pose. We inhaled and exhaled with each movement, and it never crossed my mind to look at the clock on the wall. Regardless, this clock has all its numbers in a heap at the bottom with a quote that says:  Who cares?

This particular weekend, my mind was at ease. It was a welcome relief as it had been busy, busy, busy in the brain. The past few weeks had been somewhat overwhelming, and it seemed that my mind was only resting when I slept. Even then, I am not sure my sleep counted as rest as some of what I was busy with seemed to be appearing in my dreams!

 We are going to move from one pose to another without thinking, the instructor said. Don’t over think it. Just move into it. The body will know what to do if you don’t think too hard.

We popped down from standing into a Yoga Squat, low to the ground with feet hip width distance apart, and hands in prayer at the heart. We moved right into Crow, tilting forward, hands finding the mat, knees tucking under the arms, and feet lifting off the ground. We popped up, lifting the right knee into the chest, grabbing the ankle with the right hand and moving into Dancer, the body in a standing backbend with one leg lifted behind the head. 

We stood once more and reached to the sky, stepped the feet apart, and popped back down into a Yoga Squat. No time to think. No time to stop.

If you think too hard, it can stop you from what you are doing, the instructor continued as we continued the flow on the other side. 

In the past, even the recent past, I have found myself in times where too much thinking has stopped me from what I am doing. It is like being on a rollercoaster in the brain, and it is precious time lost, that is for certain. Always, when things settle down, I can look back with wonder at how I let myself hop on such a ride. 

We stood in my favorite pose, Warrior II, legs stretched from front to back in a lunge, the back foot parallel to the back edge of the mat, the front foot perpendicular to the front of the mat, the hips and arms open to the side.

Let’s move into Half Moon with reckless abandon, the instructor said.

Reckless abandon! I liked those words!

I flung myself forward onto my front leg, lifting up the back leg and keeping my arms spread. I hovered on one foot with one hand towards the mat and the other towards the sky. Then, back to Warrior II and, again, without thinking, back to Half Moon. With reckless abandon, I repeated the sequence with the class three times.

Moving without thinking is actually very freeing. My instructor was right; my body did what it needed to do because my mind was free. There and then that Sunday morning, I decided not to buy any more tickets to the rollercoaster ride and instead free my mind with reckless abandon, finding my way, that way. 

 

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