Surround yourself with positive energy and you will generate positivity back into the world. Surround yourself with negativity, and you get my point. I love Monday night yoga sessions because Kristen, the instructor, brings me peace of mind. She oozes self-awareness and confidence but maintains humbleness that many would lose if they were her. It’s partially the poise she carries as she steps between mats speaking in a voice the makes it’s way through each one of us. There is never room in her classes and we sit mat to mat, we are family. Tonight we gathered our mats around her as she told us the story of those who go to shamans for that which ails them-
“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions. When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?” (link)
I sat with my eyes closed, my mouth curved up in a smile. Because I know the last time I sang was today, in my car, as I belted out the words to Sic Transit Gloria, a song the reminds me of my teenage, punk rock, years. I know the last time I danced was Friday night with my girlfriends in my living room. I’m not sure why we started, but a little Beyonce and a room filled with females can lead to a lot of dancing and why can’t I just be her. I know the last time I was enchanted by a story was today, and every day. I have always found solace in a good book. And maybe I have never found comfort in silence, but I think I’m getting better at it. 3/4 ain’t bad.
We sat listening, and then she asked us to take a chance with her and to sing. She sounded hesitant and explained that she had never tried this either. I found comfort in exploring discomfort together and everyone else seemed to agree. Our voices began slowly, but gradually they filled the room, and the streets. We chanted, and sang, and we made melodies. Our eyes were closed but I peaked- we were all smiling. Every single person was smiling.
In that moment I understood how people get sucked into cults- yea, she’d be a good leader… never thought anyone would get me to serenade Long Island in Om Shanti chants.
As we returned to our mats and entered into downward dog I felt a release from life. From crappy days. From fights. From anxiety over conversations that required zero deep thinking, but I thought they did.
And if it wasn’t for the guy who came in late, who I have never seen before, that nauseatingly smelled like body odor, and then squeezed in right next to me, it would have been the best yoga class. Ever.