Today’s yoga practice was one of those blissed out journeys through muscle and breath, full of boundless gratitude for having the space and the ability to just. practice. yoga. Quietly, in the back of the hot room, gentle smile in the mirror, and at peace.
Anyone who has ever practiced yoga, held down a full time job, been in a relationship, tried a cleanse – basically, anyone – knows there are unexpected peaks and valleys along every path. And sometimes it’s not a major event that causes a tidal shift, but actually a tiny one.
Like an hour in a hot yoga studio seeing the world through a fatter, warmer, sun-tinted lens.
Today there was a yogi in the studio with her dad. He asked the receptionist how old you had to be to do a hot class. The answer was 13.
“Well [phfff] I’m [obviusly] 15.” ……. “in three weeks.”
Remember the days when, with self-consciousness and bravado all at once, you rounded your age up?
Last night it was dinner with friends of friends. It was one of those pleasant surprises where you meet new people and feel more at ease with them than with many of the people you’ve known a long time.
Recently I bumped into one of my yoga teachers outside of class and her phone was going off – specifically, it was making the noise that I think goats make? I think it was bleeting? She laughed it off:
“All my friends have different animal sounds. They chose them.”
I laughed too. And all I could think was:
Who are the people that this energetic, light-filled creature calls friends? What are they like?
The friends I met last night made me want to assign them animal noises for text messages. One was the chirp of a bird, the other was the chuckle of an orangutan.
Could this soft spot for friendship be thanks to last weekend, when I found myself staring at a poem about friendship – cross stitched and framed in the quiet country bedroom where I slept in my friends Janice and Bill’s house? What seemed like a lovely quaint poem on the wall revealed a truth that stuck with me – that real friendship was to love so much that you made a cross stitched wall hanging for your friend so she could hang it in her home and know it forever.
At dinner last night the bird and the orangutan were reminiscing about university. We all went to Western, which is known for its business school, and more primarily for its parties. But when we wondered about going back, we realized none of us would. We’ve done that.
Life is like a series of big exams. You study for them and you tackle them one by one – push through, sweat it out, wonder how you did, maybe find out right away, maybe wait a while, and ultimately you feel the satisfaction of putting them behind you. As entertaining as different chapters can be, afterwards, no one wants to go backwards.
Backwards to being a teenager, to rounding up ages before your first hot yoga class. Smile.
Lately I’ve been aware of aging in my yoga practice. And how practicing when you are twenty is different from practicing when you’re thirty. I’ll see what forty is like.
Aging brings a gentle awareness. It’s going to the place pose in the pose where your body is asking you to go, not as far as possible because you can or because you think you should.
And so, this quiet inspiration after new friends, a beautiful yoga class and an appreciation for the present without the burden of the past – does it constitute a tidal shift? On top of everything, it is two weeks into my liver cleanse for skin health – without caffeine or booze or sugar. And I feel SO ALIVE. Could this be a gentle inflection point, redirecting toward a new peak? As long as cross stitched friendship poems and jungle animal noise ring tones keep surfacing, I’d say yes.