“Movement is the distraction of the mind.” – Tom
This is what I walked away from my yoga class with on Friday.
Friday was day 4 of 4, but only the end of week one.
Days 2 and 3 were tough. Really tough.
But I’m so glad I pushed myself to go to both classes.
On Thursday night, I was so full from the day…we spent the entire day celebrating Miguel’s birthday with his friends. We took them to lunch and then had a bunch of activities lined up for them so that they could hang out and not be sitting in front of little keypads with their electronics.
So after all the kids were picked up, and my son was happily at home resting from the festivities, I forced myself to go to class even though I was feeling SO heavy that I did NOT want to practice.
OF COURSE I FELT BETTER AFTER I PRACTICED.
Then, on Friday morning…it was really hard to wake up for the 6 am class which I planned to attend. Since I knew that today was the last day of the first week, I again…had to force myself to go. And again….I felt better after I practiced. (But I made it to the 8:30 class not the 6am.)
Tom is a new teacher to the Bikram Alabang Studio. It’s really great to practice with different teachers because you always pick up something new…whether it’s an adjustment in a posture or a revelation of the breath…or a part of the philosophy that you suddenly understand…JUST the exposure to new teachers is A GOOD THING.
I learned through some quick conversations after class on Thursday, and before class on Friday morning that Tom was American, and from Florida. He’s from Sarasota. (the same place that my cousin and his partner stay in now) We chatted a bit about where else he has been in Asia, how he finds Alabang, and of course the 4×4 challenge.
TRUTH: MY practice is always evolving…just like me. (My IG account description has me pegged at “A work in progress.”)
I have said in the past, how yoga has made me a better person. This is a fact. I have also said that in my practice the hardest aspect for me to get a handle on is the meditative part of yoga. (This, too, sadly, is a fact.) The ability to slow things down…the ability to clear the mind…the ability to stay still….Some days, I’m still actively working on this.
But, in my practice on Friday….Tom must have tuned in to how fidgety I was…wiping the sweat…fixing my hair…fixing my shorts, scratching my nose, taking a drink of water…you name it…I was doing it all…IN BETWEEN postures…and of course even when I was laying in svasana too…(For those of you who don’t know what Svasana is…it’s a pose where you are supposed to lay very STILL. It’s also called CORPSE pose.)
And then I heard Tom say, “Movement is the Distraction of the Mind.”
And it was exactly what I needed to hear.
Because this is what my mind was like before that statement:
“Oh my gosh. My legs are so tight. I really like her shorts, I wonder if she got them here, in Manila. Darn it. It’s really hot today. Feels like summer already. Yikes, my hair is all over the place, I should fix it. And, yes…I love the sweat dripping…but I don’t like that one little bead of sweat that is dripping right down the middle of my back, I’ll scratch it away. I think I shouldn’t have eaten that piece of watermelon for breakfast. Next time I’ll have three glasses of water instead of two. Yup…here comes that dizzy feeling…Hello EDGE. We meet again. TOO soon in this class…I was feeling pretty good. What the heck happened there? Ok, WAIT, did he say pushing my big toe down will help with balance? I’ll try that. Gosh, I’m dripping already, sweat getting in my eyes…wipe it away and get back to the posture. Tom’s voice is so soothing…soft but authoritative…I wonder when he’s teaching next. Wait-I’m flexing my stomach, why does it hang over my shorts like that? Where did all that extra skin come from? I know I’m flexing. Am I flexing properly? Engaging the knees-check. Tucking the tailbone-check. Lengthening the spine-check. Chin away from the chest-check. UGH…there is that one little bead of sweat again…ticklish…I’ll try and let it go…LET IT GO…I can hear Elsa singing it in my head. I’M SORRY!! I can’t let it go. Must wipe it away. Scratch it away. Geez, what time is it? Are we half way there yet? I’m tired today. But I wouldn’t forgive myself if I failed at the 4X4. I wanted to up the ante this time around and couldn’t do it…the least I could do is stick with this challenge. Engage the knees again. Ok. Breathe. When will he open the door? Oh, hey-look…I didn’t even see her enter the class earlier. I have to remember to say hello before we leave. What time is it again? Don’t look at the clock. You owe it to yourself to enjoy the class. This is your time for yourself. I wonder what I will do with the kids today. Oh, Kim is picking them up for a pla ydate, maybe I can get some writing done again.”
“Wait-did he just say that?”
Tom says it again, “Movement is the distraction of the mind.”
“YESSSS. That’s everything! I need to slow my mind. I’m going to be like Elsa…I’m going to LET IT GO. I’m going to ignore that bead of sweat. I’m going to stop wiping away the sweat. I CAN DO IT! UMMMM, it’s just a little too ticklish, I’ll wipe it away first.”