So now we're up to May, I've turned into an unrecognizable yoga monster and there are only three weekends left in my training schedule. Three! Because this weekend we have off for Memorial Day and then it's just three more weekends until June 16. That's like, ten minutes, not even, in the overall scheme of things. I seriously cannot believe it, not for one minute. I remember feeling so apprehensive about the thing, knowing for SURE I was going to get bored with it (14 weekends? March - June? are you kidding me?) long before our graduation weekend.
and I am so scared for it to be over.
Because... well, because I don't want to go back to my life before and I'm afraid that without the training, I won't know how to hold on to this. Like maybe it's all been just a really lovely dream and if so, I'm afraid to wake up. I don't even entirely understand what THIS is, and how one might be able to hold onto it. And of course it's all beside the point, since the whole purpose is to live in the moment and I'm not doing that at all. I'm so worried about being able to find this again that I'm not even able to see that I AM here right now, at this very second.
But, I'm still worrying, because I feel like a different person now; I feel so, so different. I look and sound different and I don't know what to do with it. I'm practicing my sanskrit and telling jokes about chaturanga and doodling the ashtanga primary series on the side of my notebook and getting up early to practice and staying out late to practice and reading all kinds of books with funny names full of funny pictures and trying to think what, exactly, would be the best way to explain someone up into a chin-stand and wondering when I can try to get back to Friday meditations at Integral and humming that chant from that one seriously amazing kirtan under my breath. And nobody on the train is trying to pick me up by asking what I'm reading anymore (I'm talking to you, guy-who-so-brazenly-asked-me-about 50 Shades of Grey). And I am carrying my mat with me everywhere, secretly imagining it to be protecting me and my special soul, a neon floral-print quiver for my karmic arrows. I'm thinking about buying a second mat. And maybe some blocks. And a strap? And every morning and every night I do a headstand and say a fervent prayer of gratitude to my teachers, to the Self and to my own self in an attempt to open up my ribcage and let the light in, to reach and pull and beg and plead and gasp and choke and shake and weep and finally fill my gaping, dusty, frozen chest cavity with pure raw unfiltered love.
And my closest friends are kind of looking at me a bit wide-eyed and hesitant because I am acting like a maniac, and I can't stop smiling.
I can't stop shaking.
I'm so unbelievably happy, so comfortable in this skin. Now that I've finally wriggled it on, it's so overwhelmingly familiar. Despite the fact that my body feels different. My mind feels different, easier. My whole heart feels different, bigger.
Not always easier, in that territory. But definitely bigger, definitely better.
There's a yogic philosophy that states that a person will practice yoga because they did so in a previous birth, and as such will always feel inexplicably drawn towards the practice until he or she gets him or herself to the mat. I am still sorting out how I feel about philosophy and births and all that malarkey, but damned if I did not feel so inexplicably drawn to this practice. I felt it years ago when I first picked up Eat Pray Love and started a three-year relationship with a story, reading it over and over and over again, not yet understanding why I felt so connected, why I was reading and re-reading as though my knowledge of the text might someday cure my own cancer. Why I felt as though I had written it myself, about me, from the future. I said it to Christy when I realized that I had signed up for a yoga retreat without a buddy - not really something I do on the regular (or would ever do in a million years). I said it aloud, when introducing myself to the group on the first day of training. I said, "I honestly don't know why I'm here."
But there I was, and despite whatever it is I may think about being the master of my own destiny, I truly believe that I was always going to get there.
For real. That's the sort of thing I am into these days. Not even joking.
When I first wrote about teacher training, my awesome web-friend Anna Edwards commented that she thought it was cool that I was doing the training - that she didn't know normal people did that. And I was all like, lolsies I know right? Because I am totally normal and I'm going to go learn to be a fitness instructor now, let's get brunch in June, at which point I will be exactly the same + a six pack and some sweet arm muscles.
Dear Anna Edwards, I am sorry to disappoint you, but I will never again be able to put my hands on the ground without thinking about planting, plugging, spreading through the fingerbeds and drawing up through long arm-bones the energy bursting forth from the earth. Even in New York, where everything is filthy and nobody should be touching the ground ever, this is what I'm thinking.
Not even the slightest bit normal. Also, not sanitary. But that's life, fucking incredible beautiful breath-taking breath-giving life.
It's MY life, and I'm so relieved that it's finally here.
(I still really want us to go to brunch, though. Please call me.)