I am not a quiet person. I don’t naturally fall into a relaxing, calm state where I am comfortable to just “be”. I typically need something in front of me to keep me still. A book, my laptop, pictionary on my phone. Something. Even then, I still twitch almost uncontrollably. Cardio is my only real time of “meditation“. The best way to get me to sit completely still? Knock me out.
I even choose my yoga classes based on the music they play, and if they let you talk or not. The yoga class that my friends and I frequent most often plays 90′s alternative and is led by a comedian in his 30s. There are many inappropriate jokes. It’s basically perfect. You’ve never yoga’d until you’ve yoga’d to Bush’s “Machinehead”.
That class is not always available. It’s a crying damn shame, but it’s true. Last night was one of those nights. My band of merry men (and women) were forced into a different class. When I read the name of the class, I said “Hey look!! There is kickboxing one room over, let’s go do that!!!” But of course, the only group class the Viking or the Navajo will take is yoga. Asshats. The class was called “Meditative and Restorative Yoga” which I translated as “These people are all going to tell me about the value of a colonic and natural deodorant whilst praising how delicious their child’s placenta was.” I did NOT eat my children’s placenta. In fact, I didn’t even want to look at it. I held that bitch for 38 weeks. I had enough contact with it. I don’t need to halasana and hear about someone elses.
Of course, the Navajo, who oddly enough is also BUDDHIST was all “lets go do it, you need to center yourself, Cat…you’re too high-strung, Cat”….he kept talking, but all I heard was “blah blah blah I’m a dirty whore”. (name the quote) I was dragged, kicking and screaming into the classroom by the Viking. Asshat. (yes, his asshat has horns on the side like a proper Viking, the Navajo’s is of course…feathers.)
The class started normally enough. There was some weird ass music playing in the dimly lit room. The air was laced with the distinct fragrance of Nag Champa and overmonied white hippies. –”LULULEMON GIVES BACK!!! MY TOMS ARE LIKE WALKING IN AN ALTRUISTIC CLOUD!!”–you know the type. We all lined up our mats like good little pacifist soldiers and sat lotus style. My group clustered together in the back, hoping to avoid notice or scrutiny.
It was a challenging class for me because there was a ton of “restorative” poses like child’s pose and corpe pose, and again, I don’t do well with the sitting still. In the last thirty or so minutes of class it was all seated poses and…get this….guided meditation. I was SURE we’d be trying to remember what it was like going through the birth canal, but apparently…that’s a different class. Thank G-d, because one thing I don’t want to think about is my mother’s ladyflower. Shudder.
At the beginning of the “guided meditation” I looked over at the Navajo and that bastard looked peaceful as hell. He looked like he just smoked a damn joint made of pot and Xanax. I was instantly jealous. The Viking was on my other side and he gave me a raised eyebrow, which meant “what.the.eff.is.this.” Thankfully, I actually heard a tiny snort from the GraveRobber who was just behind me. That, more than anything centered me.
We were all instructed to close our eyes and breathe deep. To say I was hesitant is putting it mildly. Somehow, something about the teacher’s voice just made you want to do it. I gave in. I closed my eyes and focused on my breath. “still breathing? CHECK!” Clearly I’m winning at this guided meditation. He eventually took us through some basic things like clearing our minds (ummmm, not so check) and listening to our heartbeat. (couldn’t hear it) When he got into the meat of it, I was as relaxed as you’re likely to see me.
He started guiding us through the past year. He had us visualize the “best thing” that happened in the last 12 months. He then had us go deeper into “that thing”. If it was an object, we were instructed to think of something less tangible. We were instructed to remember how we felt when said event occurred. What did it make us think? Feel? Did it help us grow? How can we use it to help us grow even further? Then he instructed us to focus on the feeling of gratefulness we have for that part in our lives. That joyous elation in the act of being grateful. How can we internalize that and keep it with us? What can we do to spread that feeling? He ended the guided meditation by having us picture our gratitude, spinning it into a ball of light, focusing it deep in our core, in our inner-being, and then to start to see it expand, spinning in a tumult of energy, building pressure inside and spreading, eventually bursting forth from us in a cascading torrent of light from every pore of our being.
It.was.powerful. I can’t say as though I’ve ever been “moved” in a yoga class before. When the class was over, the room was even more dimly lit, and the Viking, BroadwayBaby, and myself were all in tears. BB was calmly crying, but the Viking and I? Ugly cry. I think that sometimes the fiercest skeptics are often made the biggest examples. The Navajo? Was smiling in his Xanax cloud. Still peaceful as hell. Still an asshat.
All of it was incredible, but I still cannot decide if I want to take another one of these classes. I felt wiped afterward. Happy, sated in a way I can’t explain, grateful as hell, but still wiped.
Have you taken a guided meditation class? Have you ever cried at yoga? Because I don’t know how I feel about that part.
There is no recipe for today, but I will post a pic of both kids doing their best “restorative” poses on my Aunt’s carpet.