Today I got a “damn girl” from one of the regular’s at my yoga studio. It was particularly exciting, because it came from one of the better Yogi’s in the class!
In case you didn’t know, February 4th marked the beginning of the Year of the Monkey. In recognition, our teacher focused class on achieving Monkey Pose, Hanumanasana, which is a split. I’m always surprised at which poses work best in preparation for a difficult pose. I usually see no connection between the warm up poses and the final pose, but experienced teachers actually know what they are doing, and are usually able to get most of the class pretty darn close to the final pose. Some of my favorite classes are the one’s in which the teacher demonstrates the pose we are working towards, the class giggles, most of us think “ummm….you might go there but I won’t”, but by the end of the class we find ourselves in that impossible pose. It is quite thrilling to find yourself in a position you thought impossible, and it usually makes me feel like a Yoga Queen. Great Feelings!!
Today, I was pleasantly surprised to find we’d be doing handstands in preparation for our split. I was surprised at how few of the class members practice handstands against the wall. Handstands against the wall came easily to me, probably because of my gymnastics training as a youth. Since it has come easily to me, I spend a fair amount of time doing it in my home practice. I’m working on holding it away from the wall, which, by the way, I am no where near close to achieving, but I keep working on. Today, the teacher told those of us who practiced handstands to stay as far away from the wall as possible, and to work on bringing down one leg at a time, into a half split. Since I do this all the time at home, I went right up to the wall and got to work, and that’s when I got my “damn girl”; loud enough that the whole class looked at me. I brushed it off with a joke, saying “I practice this at home all the time, to prove to my boys I’m strong and they shouldn’t mess with me”, then I sat for a few seconds to divert the attention. Inside though, I was shouting “damn right; I rock at this yoga stuff”.
You know how football players do some sort of victory dance when they get a touchdown? That’s what I wanted to do; but I didn’t.
I know it is very un-yoga-like to feel pride, and to boast, but I’ll do it anyway. Today was one of those days I was definitely winning at Yoga. I did some other cool poses (albeit against the wall) and, while I didn’t achieve a full split, I got pretty darn close. And I felt really, really good! I know that whatever the pain is I’ve been having in my abdomen will rear it’s ugly head again as a result, most likely in the middle of the night, but it will have been worth it.
I hope this doesn’t sound pathetic, but there are few things in my life right now that leave me as happy as a good yoga class. When I’m at my best, with the right teacher, at the right moment in time and everything works, I feel like a Queen. When I get (or think) a “damn girl”, I feel pretty invincible. I also feel peaceful, because if I am invincible, I have nothing to fear, right? If I am the Queen, what could possibly go wrong? Do things go wrong for Queen Elizabeth? It doesn’t seem like it. And, even if things do go wrong, I’m sure she has plenty of fixers around to make sure she isn’t personally effected. It’s a damn good feeling.
Unfortunately, I eventually have to leave class. As I put on the bargain basement coat I just bought (my old winter coat is 2 sizes too large and the wind whips right through me) & my salvation army snow boots, as I trudged out to my beaten up car and wonder if anyone has hit it and drove on, knowing I wouldn’t notice the difference, I realize I’m not a Queen. I don’t have fixers, just a plethora of demolishers. I try really hard to hold on to my feeling of Royalty, to bask in the glory of what I’ve just done, to revel in the recognition I’ve received from people I admire, knowing the feeling is a fleeting one.
For those few moments, or if I’m lucky, hours, that I am the Yoga Queen, I love life. Which leaves me with 2 questions:
1 – Why can’t I spend all day, every day, doing yoga? and
2 – Why can’t I be the Queen? Who would it hurt? I have good manners. I can stick my pinky out when I drink tea. I look damned good in a ball gown. WTH?
Instead, I’ll go back to my life and hope that I’ll be better able to handle the daily disasters and disappointments that mar my current circumstances. When I am besieged by the latest divorce drama, or yelled at by my teenager, or open a bill I wasn’t prepared for, I’ll try to remember that voice saying “damn girl”. I’ll pretend I’m the Queen and that someone, somewhere will fix it.
And, when that doesn’t happen, I’ll do a handstand against the wall, and force my boys to acknowledge how strong I’ve become!