I went back to yoga today for the first time this week.
It’s the second week in the a row I’ve gotten sick after the weekend and have had to take it easy.
When I was in college, during the winter of my sophomore year, I caught the skiing bug – despite never having seen snow before the age of 18, much less having set foot on a slope.
My dorm organized a ski trip up to Lake Tahoe, and our Resident Assistant (who was Swiss and was born with skis strapped to his feet), took me up to an intermediate slope and stayed with me as I tumbled and rolled my way down, sometimes getting a few seconds of gliding on the bright powdery snow between falls.
I improved rapidly after that, especially after a friend and I started getting up at 5 am on Saturdays to make the 3 hr drive up to Tahoe to ski all day. But it always seemed like any time we skipped a weekend, I’d come back better than when we skied for several days in a row.
My friend B and I had an explanation for this. We used to talk about how at night, right before falling asleep, we would think about cutting down the slope, turning smoothly and swiftly, skiing better than we’d ever skied before.
We used to say we never really learned on the slopes. All the REAL learning happened in our sleep.
I think that happened to me this week with my yoga. At night before going to sleep, I’ve been thinking a lot about different poses. Imagining myself more limber, more flexible and stronger than I am in real life.
Yoga’s not really about outcomes or accomplishments, but sometimes when you do something differently… when something clicks… your breathing works right, your alignment is perfect, you hold that pose with ease… it’s a magical feeling.