Today’s post is a description of my first Yin yoga class using Gonzo style prompted by The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge:
In summary, the basic hallmarks of Gonzo journalism are:
- First-person narration,
- Dialogue complete with vernacular.
- Lots and lots and lots of detail.
I took my first Yin yoga class this morning. I thought I left home in just the perfect amount of time to get to class a few minutes early to set my mat, gather my props and sit quietly to center before class began. But as I drove onto the Bay bridge heading to class, the traffic backed up as far as I could see and I only noticed the cars, not the beautiful Bay and sunny sky. Because I immediately felt frustration, I consciously focused on my breathing while under each breath saying “damn it, go people!”, “f*ck! I’m gonna be late!”, “breathe in, breathe out”.
Then, I had this conversation with myself:
me: “You’re gonna walk into your first Yin yoga class late, be all huffy and disturb the class. Then you’ll ruin the whole experience because you didn’t get the spot you wanted or time to chill before class started!”
ME: “No, I won’t, I’ll graciously and calmly walk in and settle because the universe meant for me to be late; it is protecting me from something”
me: “Oh come on. The universe is just making you late and annoyed; ruining one of your two yoga classes this week!”
ME: “Chill the F out, turn on some tunes and we’ll get there”
So, that’s what I did, ME is gentle but has her limits and me usually listens. I walked in at precisely the start of class and had time to sign in and set myself up and began the most blissful yoga class I have attended yet.
In Yin yoga, each pose is held for 3-6 minutes so you get a full stretch and time to deepen your meditation. It is helpful to set an intention, as in any yoga practice, and allow yourself to embrace ‘’the edge” of each pose to invite your body and mind to open and experience all that is offered, taking in healing breaths and releasing thoughts and feelings you no longer need.
The tears welled in my eyes early on during a heart opener but subsided and my intention for the practice presented itself as, “Everything is okay”.
Then more conversations ensued during a forward bend:
me: “Wow, we’ve only been here two minutes and I love this! You will have to tell your friend about it, she will love it too. Text her after class and say….”
ME: “How do you know if this is good if you’re thinking about stuff that isn’t happening right now? Breathe in, breathe out……Ommmmm”
And then the ME-ness absorbed me’s noise.
me: “Wow, you really were in the moment there, weren’t you? That was nice, you should tell your sister about this too”
ME: “Seriously? Stop. Just breathe”
In pigeon pose for six minutes:
me: “This is kind of intense. I wonder if this is ‘the edge’ she keeps referring too. I wonder if you’re doing this right?”
ME: “It’s right, feels so good! Breathe…”
Universe absorbs the conversation again, bliss ensues
me: “wow, that was cool, huh? Wonder how long you can hold moments like that?”
ME: “Well, if you’d keep your mouth closed, it might last longer. Just breathe”
me: “Yeah, I know, but I was thinking you could maybe write a blog post about this…it could start like this…”
ME: “Please stop, please! Just breathe”
me: “Okay, here I go…breathe in, breathe out”
Oneness wins and it is beautiful.
We then squat, feet flat on floor, hands to heart center for a three minute pose.
me: “What if you farted? Remember when that guy farted the day you first did crow pose?? Ha! What would you do? Would you laugh? Would you be mortified? Haha!”
ME: “you are seriously ruining this, just chill out, would you? You’re gonna talk and talk and then the pose will be over and you will have missed a great opportunity. Breathe.”
We lay on our backs to do eagle pose side twists.
me: “Wow, this feels good, I almost feel like you could get stuck here. But, wow, good stuff!”
ME: “I know, it is.”
We switch to the other side then move to the wall for Savasana with legs up.
me: “Awww, this is so lovely. I might cry. Sorry for talking so much. This is nice. I’ll be quiet now.”
ME: “Thank you, it’s okay. I know you have a hard time being quiet, I understand. Let’s enjoy the rest of class”
me: whispers “okay”
This one and half hour class was beautiful and went by in what felt like 20 minutes. I’ve never had a class end so soon yet go at such a slow pace. Meditation is an ongoing conversation to quiet our minds but when we do, so much clarity can arise. Gently but firmly quieting those conversations, like quieting small children who talk non-stop nonsense, is part of the meditation.
Someone choked quietly during Savasana and I knew someone else was experiencing what often takes hold of me. After class, everyone quietly put away their props and blankets and my lovely friend was there. She told me how she got choked up and it caught her by surprise how the tears flowed. It is such a beautiful experience when that happens because our minds don’t always stay on par with our bodies. Our body collects our experiences and holds them for the mind to let go of when ready.
I drove home and the bridge was clear, no traffic. The sun was shining brighter than I had noticed before, the palm trees swayed in slow motion with the breeze and the light shined off of the Bay like a million sparklers. I was awakened to my day-to-day beauty in a new way and it was blissful.
me: “Can I say something?”
ME: “Yes, everything is okay. What is it?”
me: “Can we do that again sometime?”