i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
e.e. cummings (full poem)
I found out Saturday that there is a small part of myself that I carry with myself. It's wrapped in bamboo floors; gentle, intentional voices; a mat.
Inside it is every moment of yoga I've practiced since my first yoga practice, two months after King was born (look at that photo above, tiny little King with her friend, Miss Lindsey). Also inside it is every sliver of my life that I'd carried to the yoga studio, onto the mat, into the poses.
I found it out Saturday because, somehow (after nine months in our new city), I attended my first Portland yoga class.
When I unrolled my mat, I was unrolling my mat in Winston-Salem. When I started settling into position before this class, I was settling in before class at Paz Studios. I was a little overwhelmed by all of it. I warmed myself up with a child's pose and, with my head down, let my face contort in something like anguish.
It went on like this throughout class. The instructor led us through a three-part breath, and I saw a flash of Lindsey doing the precise same thing during one of my early classes. As I got into a warrior pose Saturday, I heard Elliot's voice reminding me to check my heel alignment.
The experience unpacked an entire part of myself that I hadn't met since we left North Carolina. I rewound all the way to that first private session with Lindsey. I'd brought King, wrapped her in a scarf, and set her on a blanket to watch mama. I wasn't very strong yet, but Lindsey made it so clear that what I could do was what I could do and I should keep doing it. She played with King, was delighted by her. My whole life was in that room in that moment, and that's how it felt every yoga practice thereafter.
Is this how yoga feels for you? Do you slowly unwind the entirety of your life, see it, record it, reserve space for it? (Maybe this is why hip-openers make me want to cry, like a knot that I haven't figured out how to undo.)
How do I finish this without collapsing into sentimentality? Talk about how excited it makes me? Yes.
The whole experience made it easy to commit to more yoga. Morning and evening, hot, restorative. I want to read books, too. I have a copy of the Tao Te Ching (am I going too far?).
And I've finally started sketching again, because I want to figure out a way to see what this all looks like.