I lay in my restorative yoga class thinking of the ingredients for a Negroni.
Gin. Campari. Vermouth.
Gin. Campari. Vermouth.
I thought: “If I think about Negronis, I won’t cry.”
And yet the tears welled and even while I lay and restored my body, they kept coming.
Restorative yoga is a still and slow practice, one that focuses on the mind as much as the body. The practice is made up of just a few poses, each held for about ten minutes. It’s about release, physical and emotional.
The first time I did restorative, way before the pandemic, I did have a few WTF moments. It was – unexpected. Unexpectedly slow. Unexpectedly connecting. And unexpectedly emotional.
Never mind my teacher being UNEXPECTEDLY GORGEOUS.
Yoga, via Zoom, became a bit of an anchor for me over the last few months. And on Friday evenings, instead of lighting candles and having a Shabbat dinner, I lay on the floor and got into cosy poses.
Sometimes I felt fabulous. Sometimes I cried. Always I felt lighter.
Before my last class, Dirk asked me how I was.
‘Hey Sandz, how’s your week been?”
‘Oh,” I’d said. ‘It’s been hard but oddly, I feel I’m learning, maybe even coming out of this a different person, aware of the small things, the every day, nature, birds, bees, my beautiful garden, privilege, the people around me, it’s…’
And then I realised he had asked me how my week was and not my ENTIRE PANDEMIC!!
A similar thing happened in India, many years ago. I’d booked an Ayurvedic massage. Before the treatment I spent a few minutes with the Ayurvedic doctor.
‘Why are you here?” she’d asked.
I made a list. Insomnia, anxiety, sore back, knees, men, sensitive skin, what else is wrong, wrinkles, overthinking…
The doctor had put down her pen and said:-
“You know you have only booked a one hour massage.”
I’d laughed and gone on to have the most unforgettable massage, one I still talk about today.
I’ve been doing restorative for two years, one and a half hours per week.
Hours that have impacted me hugely.
Last Friday I sent my teacher a message to thank him for the class. Also, because he is leaving the country.
“Those heart openers. They bring up every beautiful emotion. That was the most considered practice. Thank you.”
Dirk is extremely considered, which is why he is such a brilliant teacher.
Or as a fellow yogi wisely told me, he is a Guru.
He replied gently and immediately:-
As always, thank you for sharing your practice.
I went back to thinking about Negronis.
I should not forget the maraschino cherry I thought, or the slice of orange.
I may have tears but I am exceptionally grateful to my teacher.
Today is Yom Kippur. It feels like a good day to be considered. A good time to reflect.
To think of life, family, friends, my partner, the last six months and the next six coming.
As Dirk would say…
May you be at ease.
May you be peaceful.
May you be healthy.
And please, don’t mind the time.