Yoga has this amazing ability to make time fly. When I last looked at the clock, it was a quarter past seven and now, suddenly, it’s eight thirty. I feel limber, chill, and…as luck would have it, I am discovering this worthy escape dangerously near to a period in my life where I won’t have a whole lot of time to escape!
This miniature epiphany comes to me a mere three days before my intensive post-degree journalism program is set to begin. This occurrence bears both a negative and a positive, in that I won’t have the time to lose myself in it, but I have learned what a great stress reliever it is, and have built up enough of a knowledge and ability base to make it a relatively simple addition to my schedule whenever possible.
When I’m hanging there in forward fold, or perched in pigeon, I feel like the universe is aligning to my own personal coordinates, so awkwardly juxtaposed in space just moments ago. I genuinely feel my breath deepen, my body elongate and relax, my mind clear – though sometimes only slightly.
One of the greatest proofs of the progress I have made in the yogic sphere came during the Fringe Festival this year. The Fringe, if you don’t know, is a span of so many days during which touring theatre comes through select cities across the world (or at least the USA, Canada and Europe). The show in question was a magic show, and I ended up being called up on stage with another young woman to serve as an assistant.
At one point, the magician asked us to take a deep breath, relax our bodies and clear our minds. I did as was requested, and within a second, the magician’s attention focused on me. Apparently, until then, I had been falling behind in the unknown battle for who got to remain on stage and help him further. But in that moment, he picked up on my ability to immediately relax my entire being.
Now, granted, my “win” could have had more to do with the other girl being unable to relax herself. I have theatre experience, so I wasn’t terribly nervous on the stage – that could have played a part. But the fact that it took a mere instant for someone so in tune to people (I guess you’d call him a mentalist; his name is Travis – check him out!) to recognize that change in me. It wasn’t a matter of weighing our relatively similar “calm” states; it was clear straight away. That was a very exciting moment for me, to have someone else recognize the changes and progress I had made. I went away that night with a sort of elating confirmation riding atop the inevitable awe of a magic trick done to perfection.
If what I proved able to achieve that night was all that yoga ever did for me, I would still feel that my time spent on the activity was worth every moment – but I already have other milestones to show for it (though they’re not ones any magician will ever see). I am nearly able to sink into the splits, my head doesn’t hurt quite so much as it used to when I try shoulder stands, and I can pull off Dancer Pose. Like anyone else, I am dazzled by the sight of Tara Stiles literally drifting into a handstand from Supported Warrior Three, or Bad Yogi Erin Motz‘s promo pic of an arm stand with her legs stretched out to the side. Who wouldn’t love to whip that out at their next wine and cheese night? I will put in the time trying to reach these impressive levels, absolutely. But even shy of the show stoppers, yoga has made my body and state of mind immeasurably better.