Sunday night, I decided that I would go to yoga three times this week—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. The days between I would swim.
This was my plan.
My plan worked well enough Monday morning—yoga in the morning; songwriting in the afternoon.
Tuesday morning, I could not get out of bed when my alarm went off. The pool was only open from 6-7am, and my body was not having it.
Plan malfunctioning began.
So I decided to let it go for the day.
No swimming; songwriting in the morning, a drive to Flagstaff to visit a dear friend and her daughter in the afternoon; impromptu songwriting with daughter to surprise mom before heading home.
Wednesday morning, I arrived at yoga to find everyone standing outside the studio’s locked doors. The teacher had not arrived or there was a mix-up scheduling a replacement for someone who was out of town.
I sat next to a friend, thinking that I would feel so disappointed if I did not practice. I thought about letting it go, practicing non-attachment, but I realized that this was one plan I did not want to let go of.
Yoga is a place where I feel safe. My fear is diminished; I can breath deeply. The women in my yoga community tell me they are proud of me, that I am brave.
Most of the time I don’t feel brave, but when I practice yoga I feel strength rising from a place inside of me that I didn’t know was there.
So I suggested that we practice in a park in the shade somewhere nearby. I offered to practice teaching. People responded. An older woman said she was a yoga teacher and would teach the class.
And I found Aparigraha return. It was fine for someone else to teach. She wanted to. I did not need to insist on practicing. I just wanted to practice yoga and be among yogis.
We headed caravan style to Granite Creek Park and found a relatively flat spot in the shade of enormous cottonwood trees. I could feel my body settling. I could feel my breath.
And we practiced. We laughed and giggled. Exchanged smiles and kind words.
When I stood in tree pose, I looked straight ahead at a small tree in the distance. A bit closer were two large cottonwoods framing the small tree between them. I watched the tree intently. And I felt more poise and strength than I ever have in a studio. I could stand like a cottonwood tree forever.
As we prepared for savasana, I offered to sing a song I had written about creating a moment where you feel free. I sang and felt my voice blend with the wind.
We parted ways after exchanging emails and telephone numbers.
As I drove away, I felt a moment of freedom. I felt peaceful.
I knew it was fleeting, but I didn’t mind.
It is the practice that counts, and I was practicing.