I dabbled...in yoga.
Can one dabble at being mystic and zen?
I was not entirely sure that I have the discipline to practice Yoga. My problem is, I tend to babble when challenged (and I am severely challenged at yoga) Also I don't do peaceful, quiet and calm well. Manic and moody is more my steam.
But I do like trying new things.
So I joined the group of people with their yoga mats and their quiet calm feeling like the elephant in the room.
I started off on the wrong foot (excuse the pun) with our instructor.I got a stern look for disturbing the peace and was harshly shushed.(Quite enjoyed that)
Being peaceful, calm and in a meditative state felt oddly peculiar, like I was at odds with my body. My mind was curious as to why I was suddenly in repose? Why deliberate breathing was entirely necessary when I had been happy breathing unconsciously all along?
Lying on my back with my feet in the air or thrusting my pelvis up; my body curved like a bow, seemed more fitting somehow to the boudoir than to a crowded studio.
At one stage I was rolling around on the floor like a break dancer skilled in the art of back spins and had a woman bending me over like a pretzel. I even had cause to wonder how my right arm and my left leg ended up intertwined behind my back at one stage, struggling to disengage!
Needless to say, I was like a fish out of water, flapping inelegantly about, not at all fluid, or poetic in my motion. At one stage I caught a glance at my posture in the mirror and I was well impressed. I grinned, "I can do this!"
Challenge accepted, yoga lady!
One-and-a-half hours later I was at it like a semi-pro, I even ended up doing something I hadn't done for 30 years...
And all this while taking conscious breaths:
"Hiss! I want you to hear your breath when you exhale," we were instructed, not so gently by our abrupt, slightly cynical yoga instructor, tired of seeing a constant stream of beginners looking for nirvana passing through her doors.
I hissed loudly, hopefully making up for my earlier lapse in yoga etiquette.
I actually beamed like a two year old when I eventually extracted small praise from the master: "Well done!" she said, stretching my legs even higher up against the wall, while I was doing a particularly jittery hand stand.
She called us "Yogi's!" and after nearly two hours of stretching and bending and breathing and bowing... I felt like I finally earned the name. Sounded like a term of endearment to me coming from a woman skilled in the art of yoga and tough love.
We ended off at rest, casting our "baggage" out along with each breath, I felt lighter than I had in years.
And for the first time in months, I slept like a baby.
At the end of the class, she plonked herself down next to me on the bench while we were all getting ready to go our separate ways.
"We should all just go to Spain in the winter, just pack our bags and go!" said the woman I had just met 2 hours before.
"Yes," I agreed, "we should just do it!"
She was just making conversation, but I meant it.
I'm not sure she realized who she was preaching to... I would probably be the first one on that flight to Spain, with only a carry-on bag, and my old baggage left far behind, heading in search of the sun in Ibiza.