I put the bracket in the title above, because at this stage I am not sure whether it’s bearable, or not.
It’s not so easy to center yourself, to find and explore your inner self. For me, the hard part is the physical part.
So it was with some trepidation that I first approached the TrueSelf Centre of Being, a haven of tranquility among tall trees and many birds in uptown Kingston. I was attracted by an invitation to join a special Yin Yoga session for activists, conducted by a gentle Canadian woman with blonde dreads. I consider myself an activist, more or less. It was a long evening, with the whistling and chirruping of crickets and frogs as a soundtrack and the scent of candles and incense wafting across the space. But I hardly noticed the time passing. We did a lot of noisy exhaling. Our teacher propped me up on occasion with various objects, to prevent me simply toppling over in embarrassing fashion. I realized I can hardly sit cross-legged any more.
After that, I felt ridiculously stretched and at the same time loose and relaxed. I spent the following day feeling very comfortable with my body (apart from aches and pains here and there). So I ventured to dip my toes in again, and this time it was Kundalini Yoga – a morning session, complete with birdsong. This was possibly the most rigorous workout I have ever experienced – including those hectic aerobics sessions I used to attend in my younger days. I have all kinds of things wrong with my back (I won’t bore you with details). By the end of the class, it had been twisted, stretched and massaged in a hundred different ways, while sweet and soothing music murmured to me in the background. For the next two days, my muscles quietly complained to me – including some I never knew existed – but I felt great. Invigorated inside and out.
Yesterday, I took my husband along to a Tai Chi session. We are both complete novices, my only brush with martial arts having been a huge enthusiasm for judo at high school in England. We were both nervous. We both, of course, found it ridiculously hard even to walk in the correct way from one end of the room to the other. For those who don’t know, or have never practiced yoga (or tai chi): None of it is as easy as it looks. It is incredibly demanding. You find yourself in an impossible position where you are supposed to have reached the floor – and you are only half way down. And then you remember – oh, I’m not breathing! Breathe…
I have seen people doing Tai Chi in the park; it looks so easy and relaxed. Well it isn’t easy, although one day it might get easier. We are both determined to try. If at first you don’t succeed…
At the end of our Tai Chi class, we went outside onto the lawn. Grey clouds floated around, serving no useful purpose. With our toes deliciously tucked into the thick grass, we raised our arms and faces to call down some rain. Later that afternoon, large warm drops of rain fell for five minutes, and then stopped. No, we were thinking of a bit more than that, Oh Rain God.
Did I mention that all of the above has been an uplifting experience? Truly. My head feels clear and alert, and the rest of my body is trying hard to catch up. I could get addicted to this.
Moreover, Deepak Chopra is starting one of his online meditation series on Monday. “You will hear a soft bell…” In the end, both my mind and body will feel so light, I might just float away.
The TrueSelf Centre of Being is on Facebook, and you can contact them at (876) 819-7899 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Do some good for yourself and sign up for a class today!