For the new year I went to a new-to-me yoga studio in Tacoma. I truly enjoyed the experience. It was a wonderful way to start my year. I found it challenging, but not too much. The other older woman there was able to do more than I. Life is comparative and I can’t help but apply that to my yoga practice as well. Her abilities give me something to work toward. The young ladies next to me were not able to keep up with me. This gives me something to be proud of. The instructor was knowledgeable and situationally aware of all the levels of practioners in his studio. I tried things I’ve not tried before. I held postures far longer than I have asked others to hold postures for. In fact my arms hurt from the warrior pose. It has been a long time since my arms have hurt in Warrior.
At the end of the session we worked our breathing techniques and I always appreciate a strong Pranayama practice for days afterward. Finally at the end of our Corpse Pose remembrance the instructor rang-sang a deep Buddhist bell.
He gonged lightly once. I was delighted to hear the tone of my own beliefs outside of my Gongyo practice. Then he rang the bell repeatedly, growing stronger until the reverb flowed into to the last tone and I was carried mentally into remembrance and reverence for the departed. My eyes grew teary and my smile peeled my face open in joy. The instructor started the mallet singing around the bell rim and the solid sound reminded me that I am of the earth and not the other side. As the tones echoed around the studio I felt myself checking in with my body. Checking in that all functions are good. Checking in with the muscles, the cells, the skin. And the ringing stopped. I heard the padding feet of the instructor leaving the room. I rose from the pose and I am still filled with joy.
As I checked in with my body I found that my body responded as a much younger bady than it has in many years. I do want to do another mental body scan this weekend. I to feel that same openness in my trunk, my core. I also would like to scan my esophagus and digestive track as this has caused me discomfort for several years now.
I am thrilled to find this studio and this teacher/instructor. I will enjoy returning here.