My last pre-surgery practice was today. I had low expectations, but from the moment I stepped on the mat, it was pure bliss. It was sweaty-hot in the room, but I liked it. I took extra-long breaths to prolong the experience. But in the end, I found myself in Kurmasana. Where was the stiffness I had been enduring? Where was the disconnection? The concentration problems? Where was the whole Lauren vs. the Flop Sweat battle?
I stayed in Kurmasana for so long, I lost count. And it was a good Kurmasana too. Nice and flat. Legs no wider than my mat. Butt up, heels up. Steve from Santa Barbara doesn’t rush to put folks in Supta K, which is kind of cool. It gave me the freedom to attempt it myself without stepping on my teacher’s toes. It went fine, but I felt like I could have gone so much further if someone just pushed my elbows together from exactly where I was when I got myself into the deepest expression I could achieve alone. It was not to be, however. When I got out of it, I flagged Steve down and asked him if he could help me in Supta K, and he did. Fingers touched. But instead of working with the arms, he suggested that we work to get the legs higher up over my shoulders. Sure. I could use help with that. And so he pulled my legs up higher, tighter. And what did I feel?
“Let me know if this is too much.”
“Too much? No! I don’t feel anything at all.”
“You’re kidding! I’m using all my strength.”
What is it with my hips? They feel no pain, and yet the don’t seem to move beyond a certain point. Well, there’s never been a part of my body that hasn’t yielded eventually. So, I assume the hips will follow suit in time. As Steve says, “No rush.”
Then came the backbends. I had heard that Steve from Santa Barbara gives the world class drop-backs. But I never really thought that I would get a chance to experience them. And yet…today, he saw me dropping back on my own and he called across the room that he would be there shortly to help me out. I have no idea what we did. All I know is that by the last one, I was standing up with a fairly large portion of my own leg strength and with my head really and truly coming up last. If I could have bottled that feeling!
I floated through finishing and sat for a long time in padmasana, not wanting to leave. But alas, 11 o’clock rolled around, and that is the witching hour for cars on the wrong side of the alternate-side-of-the-street-parking-regulations, so before I could get hit with a parking violation, I made my exit. Into the sunny day, with my friend S, who was the sole reason I had even bothered to practice today.
Thank you, S!
I now have something to hold onto in the next six weeks. A reminder of what I will be missing. An opportunity to grieve it and then happily return to it.
I floated on my yoga high for the entire rest of the day, which included the heroic (if I do say so myself) task of taking Adam to the Upper West Side to go roller blading while Brian was in Hebrew School, and cooking up a huge pot of tomato vegetable soup.
So, as I prepare for tomorrow’s surgery, I unexpectedly find myself happy with my yoga, happy with myself as a mother, happy with just about everything except this damn cold sore. Fucking cold sore. And I don’t drop that word casually in my writing.
And now, I better drink about a gallon of Diet Peach Snapple because from midnight on, it’s the fasting thang.
Think good aesthetic thoughts, people….