Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Forces of Nature, Part II

The kind of yoga I practice is Anusara yoga, which was founded by a delightful goofball named John Friend. Whenever John Friend comes to town, all of my yoga friends go to his workshops. It's a no-brainer. For us, he's like the Pope.

This year I scraped together the time and the courage to go. Nevermind that the first workshop started at 8 a.m. the morning after I'd just gotten back from Mexico at midnight. I knew I'd get there and ride the collective shakti until I woke up enough to ride my own. And then, maybe I'd explode with happiness.

Two hundred men and women lined up their mats edge to edge in the great hall of the Nordic Heritage Museum. A full band played groovy Indian music on a stage. John, in shorts and sleeveless shirt, walked around, snapping his fingers to the drum, and saying things like, "Feels good!"

All of my people were there. Blue-haired Rebecca, bald Davida, Adonis-like Robin, the lady I teach up in Edmonds every Thursday, Jodi, Kit, Anne, Megan, Dan, Will, Richard...and my beloved teachers, too. They walked around like goddesses, helping us perfect our poses. I saw demonstrations by a man named Adam, whose thighs were as big as my head and who could lift one leg nearly vertical while balancing on the other foot. (Between you and me, he looked like the happiest, most glowing, healthy person on the planet.) And then there were the musicians, who, when not playing an instrument, simply stood up on the stage and did their yoga, too.

YES. These are my people, I thought. This is power and grace. This force I'm feeling is all strength and beauty! How shall I be a part of it?

I raced home to bring food to my family. We'd been out of town for a week; the cupboards were bare. Then, after wolfing a bagel sandwich and chilling with the kids, I raced back to Ballard for another two-hours of intensity.

That night, I nearly fell asleep while eating my dinner. I was so worn out, so physically tired and sore, I couldn't think. I could barely talk. I passed out in bed without the chance to process the day. Surely, there would be time for that tomorrow.

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