Finally I was able to go to class, after a week’s absence; my body was happily moving through the poses with strength and grace. Even when I messed up my left and right (the by-product of being a visual learner; auditory instruction can confuse me) my recovery was smooth.
I was surprised however at how much water was leaving through my skin. Perhaps you are wondering what exactly that means? That is my polite way of describing the horrifyingly extreme amount of sweat pouring out of me. Now, I love me some yoga, but sweat? Not so much. All of my life I have been told to hide this bodily function and now here it was leaking out everywhere. Did you know that your ears can sweat? Let go, let go, let go. Breathe.
Child’s pose, sit up, hands at my heart, rise up, reach up, fold down, child’s pose, down dog, right leg way up, swinging it forward and slide into pigeon…relax, breathe…plop. Sweat is now leaking from the top of my head onto the mat! I bring my focus to the pigeon and not my sweat. I don’t like pigeons very much. I love all living things, but have no connection to this bird. I think they are dirty and dangerous, perhaps carrying diseases and parasites. I steer clear from pigeons. But right now, I was a pigeon, lying with my feathered body resting on my leg-perch, my wings stretched out in front of me, my birds’ head down in prayer, surrender. As I breathed into this bird energy, I could feel the fast beat of its tiny heart, and I could see how beautiful they were with their iridescent feathers sparkling in the sunlight. I could hear my pigeons’ cooing as she rises up with grace from her resting pose to fly off, generously fanning my sweating body. It felt good and I thanked her.
I am studying the spiritual meanings behind the asanas, and using this imagery and ancient wisdom to guide my body, guide my practice. While researching on the web this morning just before class, I came upon kakasana, or crow. Crow is one of my totem birds, hawk being another. Crow pose has some obvious power to it. I was very drawn to the crow pose, and imagined myself a crow and flying way above the earth and then compacting myself narrowly to dive down for some tiny morsel on the ground. I liked crow, but realized it may take me some time before getting into it.
Still in pigeon, I was thinking how I longed to accomplish crow when to my surprise my teacher announced that we move into crow. He showed us how and as I found my balance I was able to manage small success with microseconds of lifting my feet up and off the ground…this made me laugh lightheartedly like a child and I tumbled over. Funny trickster crow!
On my way to my car, I delighted in the synchronicity of meeting crow on the very day that I had discovered her and just then a beautiful pigeon flew right out in front me, startling me and I gasped while she hovered in front of me, her soft wings gently breezing the air around us.
Sweat, laughter, surprises…it’s all yoga.