Do they know?

Can they tell by your breathing, the way you move, that something’s happened?  A release, a click, a something….

It was Utthita Parsvakonasana A again.  That pose that’s just out of reach for me.  I’m getting there – slowly – but my hips, my groin, my body twisting, it’s like it’s wringing everything out…I was so close, but its like they have this silent and discreet warning bell that’s triggered whenever you reach a pose you struggle with.  Prem appears out of nowhere, gently guiding you into the pose with his hands and quiet instruction.  Knee against the elbow, shorten your stance, a little more, a little more, bend that knee, a little more, a little more – that’s it.  Good.  Now extend your hand, and I did, and suddenly felt this emotional cramp.  You know that feeling when your jaw locks, and it burns in your chest, the back of your throat.  If I held that pose for just a second longer, I would have been wiping more than sweat from my face and mat.  Projectile tears.  Except this time, I somehow held them back.  Spent the rest of the session in a heightened sense of sensitivity…nearly crying when Radha told me to wrap up for the day.  It was time for me to wrap up, I knew it was – why would I want to cry about it?  Rolling my mat up, and not quite getting it even, Prem asking me if  I was ok on the way out, Radha saying I’d done a good job, saying goodbye to everyone instead of stopping for a coconut…I could feel the tears just building up.  Climbed the short hill to the main road, said good morning to Mawa, clambering up the steps, key clutched between my fingertips.  Padlock released, doors flung open, I threw myself onto my bed, and….nothing!

No tears, no weeping, no purging of whatever it is that’s been hibernating in my hips.  Do I feel cheated?  Frustrated?  Not quite…just a bit vulnerable I think.

When I think back to how strong and rational you have to be to keep everything together.  You lose a job, a friend, some guy you’ve been sleeping with turns out to be a bit of a prick.  Some health issues, Europe crashing with blood-pumping speed, the welfare system hanging from a thread, politicians lying and cheating, even the BBC’s feeding us shit.  A friend’s in pain, someone’s mother dies of cancer.  A cat gets hit by a car, everyone’s forgotten about Climate Change, and the mercury’s about to explode in the thermometer.  Is it any wonder that we store it all inside?  Knotted and tangled, getting tighter and tighter.

Today we were pulled aside before class.  We’re at the next stage of our practice.  Vinyasa, vinyasa.  The flow of breath and movement – its time to make our practice a meditation.  I rarely have to think any more, even when relaxing into Savasana – I see clouds ambling across a blue sky.  Today I breathed deeper, my lungs feel stronger, I felt uplifted by the in breath, and grounded with the out breath. Perhaps today I dislodged something, shook some of the knots apart.

I can’t expect them to all unravel in one swift motion – I wouldn’t want them to.  Today, I made a start at picking them apart and now I can’t tell whether I want a hug, or a stint of solitary confinement.