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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I'm a Loner. A Rebel.

Knitting in public.

Anyone who has known me longer than 10 minutes knows that if I'm sitting, I'm knitting. Sometimes even if I'm standing (in line...making a speech...showering...that kind of thing) I'm clicking away on something. Nothing big or complicated comes in my purse if I need some on the go knitting, but I always have a hat or a sock. Why am I so obsessive about this? That is the million dollar question. I decided to really think about it as a result of something that happened last weekend. I was taking a class and the first half was lecture. I pulled out a sock and began to work. Now, here is the thing. I was knitting the foot which was in stockinette. No need for a pattern. No need to count. No need to even look actually. I was listening attentively to the instructor (who happens to be a good friend of mine) and absorbing the information. I even thought ahead to bring a project on a long circular needle to do magic loop so I didn't have to worry about any of the needles being dropped on the floor. I thought I was golden.

About an hour in to the lecture, I was asked to put my knitting away.

I froze. What just happened?

Now, it might sound extreme. In fact, I'm positive that it does, but this is the truth. Tears stung my eyes as I quietly put my sock back in it's ziplock baggie and slid it into my purse. My husband was sitting next to me and studied my expression as I stared forward blankly out the window. Now it's not just the knitting that caused the tears to come. I also hate being 'reprimanded'. If I think I'm in trouble, I will cry. Always have, probably always will. If I had been distracting other students, I would have understood this a lot better. However, I was not bothering anyone. I was quiet. I was sitting still. I was listening. Without my knitting, I began to fidget. I couldn't keep my feet still. I found myself wanting to poke my husband's face. I wanted to dig in the purse of the woman in front of me. I wanted to throw little pieces of paper at those around me. My mind wandered. When is lunch....will we get done early....I wonder if that's a 31 bag....and pretty soon I realized that I hadn't heard much after having my knitting stopped. Later on, the person who asked me to put my knitting away reminded me that we were there to listen and said it was like texting through a class. I said, "Knitting is how I listen. It quiets my mind and lets me absorb information."

Too bad, so sad was the sentiment that followed my plea. And it is. It really is.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Where Did THAT Come From?

Picture the place you go to when you practice yoga. Maybe it's a studio...maybe it's your living room...maybe it's your front yard...

Now think about where you go mentally when you practice. A calm forest....a beach...a favorite place from your childhood...the arms of the person you love. You're present. You feel every single thing happening in your body and your soul. Each cell has a purpose and you are aware. The twists, the binds, the back bends...they all open up spaces within the body and allow all the things we are holding on to out. Broken relationships that still hurt. Angry words spoken either from our mouths of the mouths of someone important to us. When we are hurt, it can bury itself deep within. And it stays there and comes out when we least expect it. Yoga is one of the best places to unleash these unfelt emotions and cleanse our souls as well as our bodies.

The funny thing? When it's happened to me, I haven't always been able to identify the exact cause of whatever emotional release is happening. Many times when savasana begins, my body is heavy on the ground and everything begins to slow down...that's usually when I feel tears streaming down my cheeks. "Why am I crying?" I will think to myself, and the answer is usually not easy to pinpoint. Sometimes I know. Sometimes I have a few ideas. A lot of times it's a million little things that I hadn't before allowed myself to feel, but yoga forces me to be present and feel it. I might not always like it and sometimes yoga and I are adversaries because of it, but I know eventually it has to happen. How long it lasts varies. Sometimes I'm not the only one. It's amazing how inhibitions fall by the wayside when it happens and you notice another yogi in the midst of an emotional release and you wordlessly hug them. Dripping in sweat with tears pouring out of your eyes, the feeling of embracing another person in that state is priceless. There are just not enough words to describe it. You don't care about the sweat, the tears, the fact that you've never even met this person. Their soul honors your soul and acknowledges that you need that human connection.

Sometimes it's a few tears and it's over. Sometimes it's an hour of ugly crying in the shower while your family congregates outside the bathroom door with puzzled looks on their faces. When you emerge a happy and light souled person, of course they want to know what on earth just happened. How do you explain it to someone who hasn't ever experienced what you just went through? What do you do when savasana brings a heaviness not just to your body, but to your heart, too?

Let it out. Feel the emotions your soul is begging you to feel. Acknowledge them. Own them. And then? Let them go.