I am listening to Citizen Cope’s “One Lovely Day..One lovely day…One lovely day…" as I look out over the fire escape to my yoga mat dripping in rain drops contemplating this lovely day and lovely life that I am now living. How fortunate and well lovely things are these days as I think of the Dharma Mittra class that I will be attending in an hour and the French restaurant we are going to tonight and the trip to Guatemala I am taking next week and the Citizen Cope concert that is coming up. Ommm…shanti…omm shanti…thank you God. Thank you for what I have and what is to come…One lovely day…Ommmm…..
A few days later..our teacher starts class by saying that “isn’t it a lovely day.” The double doors are opened and we look out at the indeed lovely day and admire it through his eyes and our own. “Well it is Spring and doesn’t it makes you want to do a hard and sweaty class (there is groaning from the geriatric crowd in the back and I am annoyed with them for discouraging him from teaching this type of class) I just know that he is going to add a bit here..“but (he adds) that’s not what class is all about today, ya’ll” (smile).
“It is about the subtleties. The subtle body. There are many layers of bodies and as you go more into the subtle bodies they even sound better. Like Ananda. Aaa nanda means bliss…”his voice stops and we take it all in. We take in the meaning, purpose and the intent of the class and I get all squeamish. Like so squeamish that I am looking towards the door, which is all the way across the room, and have this vision of rolling up my mat and walking out the door. I am feeling trapped and claustrophobic. I think I might have to leave but I know that I cannot be that rude. I want a hot and sweaty class. My energy is bursting with excitement and I want to MOVE. He adds, “you know, ya’ll it is May and the people who come to class in May they are dedicated. “I take notes on who comes in May compared to in January” (he continues) “we couldn’t do this kind of class in January.” He laughs and the older ladies laugh but I do not laugh. I feel stone-faced.
We start to move with a quiet gentle precision one leg up and one leg down, on our backs and our teacher even comes over to adjust me, which he rarely does. Maybe he senses my urge to leave and is happy that I didn’t embarrass both of us by rolling up my mat and walking out. Or maybe he is just adjusting me for no reason. After about 45 minutes he turns on Jai Uttal and I start to enjoy the class. I start to think about the past as he tells us not to fantasize because “fantasizing is the same as worrying.” I am not worrying though, I am remembering. Remembering the Embedded podcast on Opana and addiction that I listened to on the way back from DC. The nurse and Iraqi vet addicted to pain meds on Opana, a drug more addictive than heroin. They are shooting it up because they cannot snort it anymore with the new gel formulation.
I think of my own addictions out of the blue and laugh to myself that they put me in hell. The addictions to this and that…the addiction to needing life to be fun and interesting…I will see them in hell. Isn’t that an awful thought? ‘I will see you in hell, addictions, because neither of us wins.’ That is what I am thinking in yoga class today. Addictions that I can’t get enough of but am never filled up by, my desires so strong as to allow them to take over. The hungry ghost… soul stealers, and my collusion in allowing them to take over when they do. I am re-membering all of them these ghosts with humor and compassion.
My thoughts then go to Kaitlyn a teacher that I had long ago. She was a young woman, maybe in her early twenties. She would say “there is no place to be but here and nothing to do but this” and how calming these words were then and now as really this is the only way that we can combat any addiction. To be here in the now and present with what is. I then tune back into our teacher saying with sturdiness that is grounding to me “not to hurry.” I picture an elm tree throughout class grounding me to the earth and it works. I feel centered and grounded and calm. Like I have done some good work here and glad that I stayed.
(The elm tree is the Tree of Intuition. It gives you strength in listening to your own inner voice and trusting your intuition. It serves as a catalyst to sending, feeling and possibly seeing that which is not always visible. The Elm is a favorite tree of wood elves and dryads. If you sleep beneath an Elm, they will appear in your dreams. Elms are connected to each other unlike any other trees species. They sense the death of a fellow Elm and will mourn it, often becoming sick themselves. A staff or wand made from an Elm branch assists in meditation and magic. The Elm tree lends strength to whoever comes near it, and will help in overcoming exhaustion. It helps you access universal energy rather than depleting your own. http://www.linsdomain.com/trees.html)
Later after class, (a class that turns out to be really yummy after all) I am running and coming back from the park on this beautiful, lovely day trying to notice the subtleties and beauty as our teacher has told us his friend had done for him over the weekend during their hike and how he, our teacher in turn did for us earlier today. Pointing out the beauty through another’s eyes.
My thoughts again revert back to addictions just as this scruffy man crosses the road in front of me on the street with what smells like alcohol breath. He goes to a pickup truck and gets something from them (drugs?) I glance back at the guy as he walks away from the truck and then at the guys in the truck who are now looking at me smiling. I think they are thinking maybe she wants to buy some too or maybe she’s a cop, but she looks harmless. I look back to the guy and want to shout to him. “Addictions suck!” But for some reason I have made peace with it all today and am happy and smiling as I turn around and jog away.
This article has been published on Elephant Journal.