for those that know me well, that is laughable. i'm uncoordinated and clumsy and oh so not flexible. (shout out to the gordon college softball team, who watched me struggle through stretches and poses. no ladies, i still haven't mastered the crow). and i couldn't tell you the last time i saw 7:30 am (it's really not that different from 9:30).
i have a love-hate relationship with yoga. first of all, i'm TERRIBLE at it. you can ask abbey. i can't hold my legs straight, downward dog makes me want to collapse to my mat, and i think i probably sweat the most out of everyone.. and i'm the youngest one there. i ache and i feel pain and i wonder how old i really am. yoga is all about breathing (through your nose) but i'm too busy wondering why my body won't go where it's supposed to go to focus on how to breathe. i think it's supposed to be a graceful breath, a shutting-off-the-mind kind of breath, but my breathing is hurried and my mind follows my eyes (how old is that woman? did he just fall? i just saw myself in the mirror.. i look ridiculous. did she really just tell us to do that??).
but the love part of my relationship with yoga.. it may outweigh my flexibility and breathing incompetencies. i love being up that early, doing something. i love how i feel afterwards (i feel so awake!). i feel productive. i'm ready for my day. i love stretching. i love knowing i can do things i've never done before. i love knowing my friend abbey's there.
but what i think i love most of all is watching the people. they love it. you can tell it's their thing. i know my mind should be concentrating on breathing (which is probably why my body doesn't want to obey my mind), but i can't help but watch everyone else. try to guess their stories. wonder what led them to this class. wonder what they do outside the class. wonder about their families. wonder what makes them so flexible. i feel like an intruder, a silent observer. it really is fascinating.
doing this yoga thing makes me think. about the people we come into contact with every day. the people we see. the people we chat with. the people we ignore. what's their story? what led them to that moment when our paths crossed? what's hurts them, what brings them joy, what makes them cry, what makes them angry, what makes them jump up and down and scream? these questions fly through my mind when i see people, when i'm at starbucks pretending to read. why are they here? who are they?
oprah did a show once where she picked random people out of the audience and gave them a chance to sit in her chair and tell their story. pictures from childhood, interviews, everything (oprah doesn't do things halfway). and i remember thinking while watching it how the person next to you could have a mother dying of breast cancer or have been married to the same person for 53 years or have a son fighting overseas or lost their father on september 11th.. and you would never know.
and then i also thought that if i was given the chance to sit across from big O, my story probably wouldn't be as great as someone else's. i don't have tales of destruction or death or divorce or pain.. i've lived a pretty great life up to this point. i would probably just sit there staring at oprah, complimenting her hair and great journalistic skills, and going on about how fortunate i've been. and i think that's what makes stories so unique. they're yours! there's no right or wrong, no one can claim it or dispute you or correct you, you've come from some place unique, and you're headed somewhere different.
i'm not sure my point here or if i'm telling you all to start asking strange people who they are, but yoga's my place. my place to remember that people have stories. i remember when i'm doing something wayy outside my comfort zone and can marvel at the people who do it with ease that there's something deeper to the people we see. there are whys behind their actions. there are things we can learn from everyone.
so what's your story?