While leading a yoga class last week, I walked my people through “Uttanasana” or “Standing Forward Fold”. I realized, with a smile, that to the untrained eye our class full of yogis might look like we were just shining our asses backwards.
Giggle. I just said the word “shining asses” in my head while doing yoga and nobody knows. Hehe.
In “Standing Forward Fold”, you’ve got 2 choices:
A) Think about how your butt could not be more in the air or
B) Wonder what irresponsible choices have led you to be the proud owner of the tightest hamstrings
in the free world.
As a Yoga Instructor, I highly recommend choosing what's behind door "C": Release the thought of self entirely and just breathe, accepting it all.
To help my class get to that place in their mind, I use the tactic that is most effective on my 5 year old: redirection.
“Nod your head ‘Yes’ a couple times and shake your head ‘No’ a couple times”, I say as we all hang upside down.
Because the truth is...
Most of us live somewhere in between the Yes’s and the No’s in our world. On our yoga mats we were practicing the acceptance of that dichotomy: Yes, no. Yin, yang. Up, down. Happy, sad. Tighten, release. Hard, soft. Joy, sorrow.
I’ve got too many kids
and just enough love
I’ve got too much laundry
and just enough sanity
I’ve got too many chicken nuggets
and just enough salad
I’ve got too many excuses
and just enough reasons
I’ve got too much fabric
and just enough well-fitting clothes
I’ve got too many scars
and just enough tears
I’ve got too much to do
and just enough time
I’ve got too many acquaintances
and just enough allies
I’ve got too many secrets
and just enough truth
I’ve got too much worry
and just enough peace
Push, pull. Yes, No. Up, down. It’s our truth and we find ourselves in the messy middle of it all.
For a moment in that class, right there as a community, we all swayed side to side on our mats. We nodded our heads to our own rhythm and just accepted it, all of it: the tight hamstrings, the intentionally released headspace, the sensation in the low back, the asses in the air. All of it.
When we finished, we left our yoga mats better than we arrived: softer, more open, more gentle with ourselves and others, more ready to live our truth....
and isn’t that the point?