My family’s mission is complete. They have their mother back. The yoga retreat was a success. I loved it and the ironic thing is that I fought going. There were lots of excuses.
• What would my family do about dinner?
• It was too much money!
• I quit everything except being a mother (I had no choice).
• How would everyone get transported where they needed to go?
• Who would do the laundry?
Besides, I didn’t want to book a room in a dump for $50 bucks a night and stay with a bunch of people wearing Tevas and eating granola at a yoga workshop.
The morning I was scheduled to leave, I adamantly expressed all the reasons I didn't want to go. I was going to work out at my regular time and live my regular routine. In my head there was a voice singing a different tune. When I got to the gym, I began thinking knowing that in order to preserve my sanity I needed this trip. I grabbed my water bottle, made a call to confirm my arrival, and off I went, winding through country roads for 2 hours into the Berkshires, chasing the peace that I knew I would find.
When I arrived, late, the group was in a circle and would wait for me to share. I kicked off my New Balance sneakers and scurried in.
“Hi, if you could please share your name and why you are here.”
“My name is Wendy, and I am not sure why I am here because truth be told, I can’t even touch my toes.”
The laughter reverberated through the group. Oh boy they think I am kidding.
“I am really here because I like to make people laugh and reach them in some way. Yoga is just another step in my journey to do this.”
I looked around the circle. All nineteen members smiled and the look on their faces told me that I would be ok. What I didn’t realize when I was feeling so ok was that I was in the minority. Most of the attendees were yoga instructors that were branching out into Anusara yoga. Once we broke out to our matts, it didn’t take me long to figure this out.
“Ok group we are going to straighten our backs into a bend and reach through our legs toward the back wall.”
Was this a joke? Gumby on the next yoga mat reached through her legs and nearly touched her back. Me on the other hand, worried about the noises that might escape through my uterus.
Each day we would start the day with anatomy. We learned about every muscle and bone that could be pulled or broken in the body. It was great to know that I could now put a name on every one of my ailments. From there, we would have one to one sessions sharing intimate things that went through our minds. After years of unfiltered stream of conscious writing, that was one of the areas where I had an edge.
Then came the work, back bends, handstands, and twists and contortions that I didn’t think the human body was capable of. These women were in their fifties and could balance their bodies lifting their weight onto their hands and shoot their feet out sideways off the ground. I now had a new level of respect for the Tevas.
As the week progressed so did our relationships. Beautiful people, each one different, we were all together with one goal, to find and spread peace. My soul had once again been filled with music that would continue to play long after the last day of the workshop. I was transformed and had a new goal. I would attend the remaining five weeks of workshops. I would ask myself each day, if my activities were bringing me peace and through kindness and intention, stretch my body to places I was sure it couldn’t go.
As the workshop ended and we looked around, our instructors Todd and Ann Norian asked the group if they had anything they learned about themselves throughout the week. People shared that they learned that emotions are fleeting and that with time everything passes. They learned about the power of the breath in bringing down the speed of your body. One couple shared that they learned they could move on to the next stage of their lives, together. I raised my hand.
“Well I learned something very important.”
All eyes were upon me.
“Well, I learned that despite my original thoughts,I really could touch my toes.”
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