July 21, 2010

gratitude

I was taken by surprise at my last yoga class...

I wasn't even quite sure how to handle it afterwards
but during it was so wonderfully peaceful in a way

you just never know when feelings are going to surprise you
and that was exactly what happened to me about a week ago

I started yoga because it was with friends and I wanted to supplement my running
something different to do and something I knew would be good for me

our class is focused on restoration of the mind...
practicing being still
respecting yourself
letting go of the daily grind
challenging the mind and body
all women of different flexibility and yoga history are involved in this class
our pastor's wife is our instructor
and God's words are spoken to us throughout

we were doing a simple resting pose towards the middle-end of our session
that we have done many times before...

it was child's pose
but she has us switch our child's pose
into a gratitude pose
a simple movement of our hands behind our neck in prayer form

and as my hands approached the back of my neck
I broke down in tears
right in the middle of my yoga class

I wasn't expecting to have feelings rushing out
I wasn't expecting to cry in the middle of class
I wasn't even thinking of anything in particular
it just came over me

but what I do know is

that for a moment in the midst of my own tears

I felt close to Him
I felt close to myself
I felt peaceful
relaxed
and loved


I was actually still
more still than I have ever been
{a big accomplishment for many}

and as I was trying my best to keep my tears very quiet
it only made them worse into continuous rolling hills
down my face
and onto my mat

but I had that moment
to myself
even though it was a class full of people
I felt like it was just us...

a moment that I felt
happy
grateful
and reassured about some things

it was peaceful
just as our instructor intended this class to be

you see
she has a voice that immediately calms you
and a gentle understanding of how important this class is for so many

a class that I started out to do with different intentions
has become a class that truly has taught me
to be still...

I felt embraced
and that I must be going in some sort of right direction
it was one of those moments where my hands were in prayer
and I lovingly felt them being held

The idea of being still is so very different
from actually experiencing it
there are lots of moments where I'm living in the moment and enjoying everything
having fun, laughing
but being still...
is a continual work in progress for me

 until her class
I never knew what it truly meant
it was different than living in a moment
I didn't feel "oh how much longer"
...I'm someone that goes by time
and I wasn't thinking about the time or to-do's for once

I finally practiced yoga as it was meant to have been practiced by me
not because I cried
but because I felt that stillness within me
I allowed myself to feel my own breath cycles
and finally was able for the first time to tune everything else out
that was the class where yoga became more than stretching to me

I was talking with my friend the other day about what happened
{she was next to me in class}

As I told her what happened...
I think she knew that it not only was about me feeling grateful at that moment
but she said...

"I think you needed that maybe
 to feel
and you were probably getting some stuff out
even if you weren't really thinking about it"

what I truly remember most
is the feeling of being grateful
exactly what I should have been feeling
and perhaps some baggage being tossed too...
I just don't know
but it was a confident feeling

 in relief she also said she didn't hear me
{woo-hoo...}
because its not like you want your stuff
whether it is a happy or healing cry
being cried out in front of everyone
that's just not me

but the power of my open mind that day
to allow myself to feel
and clear the mind
that is what I felt grateful for at that very moment
in the midst of my rolling hills of tears

for me...that was an experience of gratitude

5 comments:

Jill said...

Oh Martha, This has happened a few times in my yoga class! I started practicing regularly about a year and a half ago and I just love it, can't tell you in how many ways it has impacted my life - all good. Thanks for doing a post about the benefits of yoga and your very personal experience.
xo~
Jill

Short Southern Momma said...

Oh wow girl, I need to find me a yoga class! What a great experience you had! xoxo

Kristin said...

martha dear girl you are beautiful...*thank you*

Jacki said...

I attended a few Yoga classes this summer for the first time too. What an experience you had. It's so refreshing to hear God was in it, and you felt His touch.

blondiensc said...

What a wonderful testiment to being whole and really knowing what it means to let it all go and be filled with gratitude!! I love this post and think I need to join you in your class!! :)xo