My amazing Santa Claus got me yoga for Christmas. Thank you, Santa.
Unlimited yoga classes--from high intensity bust-my-ass yoga sculpt to hot yoga to relaxing slow flow and restorative (think of being in hero's pose for 4 minutes--yummy for the knees) and everything in between--have been a real treat for me. Podcasts and crappy rec center classes have been my practice for the last year, so being guided by people who live and breathe yoga has been inspiring. My body and mind love the time on the mat.
I love riding my Pugsley to the studio after being out riding in full Arrowhead training gear/mode. A couple weeks ago (before this 45F crap we are seeing in January) I would start my training ride when the thermometer was below 10F, roll in a couple hours later and spend an hour and a half in 100F yoga studio and then return home for a cool down in sub 10F. Walking to the front desk and scanning my card in full helmet and goggles, winter mittens and Sorels did garner some looks of disbelief and a few questions from those clothed in the cutest, latest Prana fashions, but they soon got used to it.
Yoga allows me to harness, receive, direct and disperse energy. I dump personal weakness, fear and negativity off the sides of my mat and open my heart and soul to let the light and grace of God enter. I use it as a time to heal my old wounds, get in touch with my inner strength or simply just absorb the precious moment with lifted eyes and a heart wide open. Taking this beyond the mat and living it more on a daily basis is a challenge I am whole-heartedly embracing in 2013.
Another challenge I started last night was the "Greatest Self Challenge:"
Although I will most likely practice 30 times in the next 30 days, I am NOT doing this for the $20 retail bucks, nor am I really doing this for myself. Instead I am doing it for the three people who were shot by some crackhead in the apartment complex I ride past everyday on my way to the yoga studio.
That one hit close--too close--to home.
I have decided that, in every final savasana for the next 30 days, I will send out healing energy and ask God to comfort and help all the recent shooting victims and their families--from the Aurora theater to Sandy Hook to the ones we don't see all over the news.
Because the world is hurting and while I can't fix or solve it, I can take my focus off myself, hope, pray and believe with all my energy that we will, in fact, heal from this. I believe that it is in the realm of possibility to find kindness for those we don't really like, compassion and love for those who really need it, to help those who yearn for but try not to show it, and to reach out to the "weird, lonely person" and recognize how much beauty they possess.
Whenever I hear this song, it evokes tears, yet leaves me with hope--a hope that kindness, gentleness, non-material priorities and mercy will prevail in the end. We have some healing and rebuilding to do.
"One by one could we turn it around?"