Some things we hold in our minds. Some things we hold in our words.
And, when there are no thoughts or words, our bodies speak for us. Mine speaks to me in the yoga studio.
Two weeks ago, my body yelled at me when I pulled what I discovered was my Quadratus Lumborum. A big name for a little muscle in my lower back. I had to roll up my mat and leave the practice early.
That night, I booked an appointment with my miraculous masseuse who had once before fixed up the same sore muscle. Then, I skipped my next yoga class.
Anxious to return but moving too fast, I attended a couple more classes before realizing I just needed to give it a rest.
I gave it heat, ice and Ibuprophen and then booked two more massages.
I was off my regular practice schedule for two weeks and, oddly enough, it felt as if I had lost my voice!
Also, I found my mind busier than usual during this time and found myself putting words on paper only to erase them once they were down.
A yoga class is like a story with a beginning, middle and end. At first, the instructor eases us into the practice, allowing our bodies to yawn awake with some initial stretches and twists.
This is when I have to consciously keep myself from chatting with whoever is next to me. I do not know why, but at this point, I always want to talk.
Oddly enough, by the time we are flowing mid-way through, my mind quiets, and it is just my body talking.
For me, this is the best part. Having never exercised before finding yoga, I had never known what it was like to work out and work up a sweat.
The last part of the class finds us down on our mats for some final stretches and twists.
I never really want the flow to end when this time comes. It seems the more energy I expend, the more I seem to have, and it is like my body wants to shout.
It is hard to wind down, but even then, my body speaks.
So, when I hurt my back and had to rest from yoga, it was kind of like being speechless.
And, I was afraid that I would not find the words once I returned.
While home resting my back, I was going through my archived emails and came upon an old one from my son on his first day of a semester abroad in Australia.
He has a wondrous way with the written word, and his email detailed that day in a way that let me virtually step into his newfound Aussie life. His narrative brought news of his apartment, his classes, his roommates, his new spot to eat and, of course, his neighborhood beach.
I forwarded him the email, now three years later. His response was to tell me that he considers the time he spent abroad as the most ideal of his life. For four months, he worked out every day, ate fresh fish and vegetables in his oceanside town, had an easy course load and basically lived the Life of Riley.
It is a time, I think, where his body, mind, heart and soul all spoke the same language; a time when he found his best voice.
To me, it is as if he was in a semester-long yoga class!
In many regards, yoga moves me in the same direction, where my body, mind, heart and soul strive to occupy the same space; where all the words fit on the same page, and where I can find my voice in places where before I was silent.
I finally returned to class after hoping to have sufficiently rested my back.
Gratefully, all the words were still there, waiting to be spoken.