It is a morning of distractions.
We arrive at class in 35-degree temperatures, a sure change from the 70s we enjoyed just a few days ago.
To exacerbate the issue, the news stations are embellishing the impending snowstorm with dire predictions.
The landscape workers are weeding and chopping and leaf-blowing and mowing — right outside the window.
An iPhone chimes nearby making me think *email* like Pavlov’s dog.
The instructor wears a knee brace and we all wonder why.
The woman next to me falls over in a bit of seasonal vertigo.
And the music meant to drown out the landscapers makes me suddenly hungry for Indian food.
We are in our beginning asana, a seated position…
“Feel yourself against the Earth,” the instructor says.
She encourages us to feel the strength of that connection. The stability it offers.
She encourages us to feel the sweetness of that connection. The joy it offers.
She talks about the things we think about: the distractions, the concerns, the pains we all sit with in our day-to-day, and there, in our asana.
“But,” she reminds us, “even in those, there is sweetness. There is joy.”
“Feel yourself against the Earth,” she repeats throughout the class.
The message is appropriate, especially today. She’s asking us to be in the moment — when everything around us demands otherwise. If we can find our way to this — to a moment of stillness, to a moment of breath, to a moment of connection — we can find our way to steadiness and joy.
Shtiram sukham asanam
(The seat is stable and pleasurable)
– Verse 2:46, Yogasutra, by Patanjali
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Photo ©2011, Jen Payne
Yoga Week One: It Will Come
Yoga Week Two: When Yoga is Only Part of the Big Picture
Yoga Week Three: Applying Stillness
Yoga Week Four: Still There is Joy
Yoga Week Five: Loving Kindness
Yoga Week Six: In Your Bones