Stretching and Strength

downward dog One of the classes I have at school is Yoga I and I have it twice a week. I chose this class because, amongst my brain-stretching classes, I wanted something wherein I could stretch and move my body, as well. Thus, Yoga and Zumba. I’m grateful I gave myself the opportunity to have planned times four times a week where I spend an hour focusing on body movement and have noticed how doing so has enlivened my life.

In yoga yesterday we were learning a new pose and a fancy way of getting into that pose. I can’t, for the life of me, remember what the pose is called because she teaches us the Sanskrit name and the “American” name for every pose. I get wrapped up in the beauty of the Sanskrit words, but can’t remember how to pronounce them, and then don’t pay attention to the English names because the Sanskrit name is so glorious. The move started in the “Downward Dog” pose (I remember that one because it makes me snicker every single time someone says it)  and then, much like the photo (found on tumblr.com, posted by getfitordie) in this post, we were raising one foot to the sky. Then, we would inhale, bend our knee and “whoosh” the extended leg through on the exhale to, hopefully, plant our foot right between our outstretched hands so that we were in a deep lunge.

The first time I tried this, my leg felt like a two-ton block of cement that I heaved through the open space most ungracefully and dropped it on the ground with a resounding thud just inches from where it had lifted off. I forgot to breathe and in the 3 seconds it took me to swing the move, I had the blood rushing to my head because I wasn’t breathing. The second time was, pretty much, the same result although this time I did breathe, only in the wrong direction. I inhaled on the “whooshing” part. Mostly because I was gasping.

I kept trying and trying. Focusing on breathing. Focusing on movement. Focusing on my body. Focusing on my positioning. With each swing, my foot got closer and closer to the mark. Although I didn’t hit the end-goal that I wanted to hit on this first time, I’m confident that I will eventually and it will be done with elegance and fluid grace. I believe this is possible because I’ve seen myself improve already in the four weeks I’ve been in these classes. Things that once seemed impossible have become probable with continual practice.

Life is like that, ya know. Things that are impossible at first can become probable and then possible and then easeful when you continue to stick to it.

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