We were standing in Warrior II, a pose that at one time was my favorite pose.
Arms extend front to back, the legs lunge forward, and the hips open to the side.
At one time, Ihad thought this pose was easy. Now, I beg to differ.
95 degree heat. Sweat dripping down every part of my body.
The class is an army of warriors, and the instructor is our commander, pointing out minor adjustments to everyone in the room.
Move your front knee towards your pinky toe. Drop a little lower in your hips.
The instructor actually reaches behind my knee and pulls it forward to entice my hips to drop. It works.
Look past your front hand. Push your shoulders down. Don’t forget to relax your jaw.
Each instruction is so minor, but every incremental shift feels so major to my body. I am sweating Warrior II!
Once all instructions are followed, we are supposed to just land there, stay there and be still, except, of course, for the breath.
No matter what, we are supposed to breathe.
Just as I am wondering why we are doing this, why we have to remain so still for so long, the instructor issues this command:
Be the bedrock!
She starts to speak about the strength of our foundation, how we are supposed to pull the energy up from our feet, which are pressed down like there is no tomorrow, and into our hips.
Our base is supposed to be strong and steady.
Don’t be the driftwood! she admonishes, before releasing us from the pose with the long awaited instruction to cartwheel it out.
I roll my back arm up and over my shoulder to meet my front arm, and gratefully lower my body on an exhale before pressing upward and through my Vinyasa.
I am the bedrock for many people in my life, and it has not been hard at all. I have not had to sweat it out, to say the least.
It has been easy to be there for my children, for my sister, my parents, my friends and colleagues.
I am often told by others that I have helped them see their way clear.
The other day, a friend told me that I envelop people.
On a lark, I visited a Vedic astrologer who told me that I am someone to whom others come in order to share their “shadow sides”, or secrets.
But, even a piece of bedrock needs to lean on others sometimes, and this has taken me a long time to learn.
For me, it is not so easy to reach out. To be honest, that is what I really sweat!
And this is where I think I disagree with the instructor. I have learned that it is okay to be the driftwood at different times in life.
For the first time, I have reached out to others for support, and I have been the recipient of an overwhelming dose of wisdom, love and comfort.
And I admit to a certain relief, even though I sort of felt doing so might be a negative, almost as if for me to flounder could be a bad thing.
It is certainly not an easy thing, but maybe it is how one gets to the other side of something problematic.
One friend, a fellow warrior, really, sent me a text, almost giving me permission to be a piece of driftwood for a time.
She said: Remember you must take care of yourself and those you love. It’s okay to lose focus once in a while. That’s all part of life, and it’s all good as long as you can get up, brush yourself off and go forward.
I call her a fellow warrior because she, too, has come through some hardships successfully and has seen her way clear to a good, strong place.
After our Vinyasa, we move into Warrior I, a difficult pose with arms up by the ears, legs in a lunge but hips forward, this time.
Move your hands to your heart, and spread out into Warrior II, the instructor says.
Our army follows its commander who allows us the moment to touch our hearts in the transition between Warrior I and II.
I land again in Warrior II, sweating but feeling strong, moving between poses and excusing my heart its breaks in between.