melt to the ground.
my yoga teacher used to say this, back in the days when i was still attending her classes. that was before deciding to go solo, parting ways with her and dropping my gym membership altogether because of soaring prices. i mean how can you let your heart soar in royal pigeon pose knowing there's an impending club fee increase just months after the most recent one took effect? hehehe. this is the philippines, dear, and much as we want to pretend to be moneyed urban yuppies, drinking and sipping our starbucks as we brainstorm in our meetings, truth remains that we are a third world country who fight it out for survival in the daily grind of our lives. :)
exchanging the glitz and the glam of being in a yoga studio filled with sweating bodies moving to the groove of an upbeat moby track for this monk-like austerity of just living on your mat, i must say it took quite a lot of getting used to this new set up. but what is yoga stripped to the bare essentials but mats, barefeet, and that silent prayer that with each sweat trickling, each new asana performed would be a step closer to touching the divine. 'yoga' as defined by in the yoga sutras by pantajali is 'to yoke'.. the human mingling with the divine. yes, we do crave for that. in my three years of doing the asanas (thats poses to you, dear reader) i cannot and will not claim to have touched the divine. in fact, divinity is an idea i cannot even smell from here, hehehe.
what yoga has taught me so far is inner peace. aside from the limbering and energizing aspects of the practice i have come to be more attuned to the workings of my body and my emotions. yes, yoga as a form of exercise have the added bonus of letting you experience intense emotions as you move from one asana to the next. movements performed have that poetic feel to them that just reaches out to the artist in me. looking back it must have been one of the reasons why i was drawn to yoga, like moth to a flame. touching palms close to your heart center, standing in mountain pose means one's openness to succeeding poses that challenge and refine your being. a downward facing dog pose means a surrender to a bigger force... gravity pulling your hands and feet in place--or, if one wants to inject spirituality to one's practice, its THE Force. :)
doing the 'royal pigeon' and feeling oneself melt to the ground and soaring skyward at the same time is an experience that always leaves me breathless. i just love the sheer drama happening as the yogi becomes the pose. and that is always the same, be it in a posh studio or in a room with just your heartbeat keeping you company.