The instructor talks us through an hour and half of movement and stillness. Within a matter of minutes, the sound of my breath replaces the sound of my chattering mind. "What about this? What about that? I am analyzing possibilities, computing probabilities, all fall by the way side as i tune in to the pulse of my breath, in and out...in and out...
My heart contracts and releases, contracts and releases and I can feel the life force within me waking, moving to every cell in my body. The blood that was was in my toes is now in my head, the air that was around me is now within me. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale...
As my heart pumps, my veins pulse, the water within me begins to move as through a broken aquarium. To the surface, out the sides, to the floor, the water follows the path of least resistance: drip, drop, drip, drop.
Where just moments before there was tension, now there is release, where i have been ailing now i'm at peace. My skin is shed.
The instructor continues to guide us on this brief leg of a long journey. In a soft voice he speaks to us as a father speaks to his children. Gently, he shows us through example what it can mean to seek balance and harmony and to be powerful champions on the inner quest for those things.
Warriors have we been, now are tired. It is time for rest. The father takes us down for the unwinding. Flat on the earth, we melt into the soil. Water flooding out is being reabsorbed by the sponge beneath my skin. The spent air is coming back too. The warrior father talks us down into a quiet lullaby.
He tells us to forget our thoughts. With his words, I realize there is indeed one more battle to be won. My body is the first thing to disappear. Before i can fully leave it behind though, it clasps for one last moment of attention. An itch. A small itch which was nowhere just moments before is now all i can feel. I will not scratch it. I will leave it behind. I am the master. My body is gone. I am in total comfort as i take a few more steps towards thoughtlessness. I grow lighter but deeper with each second and i am somehow filled with joy that I am succeeding in achieving the utmost of simplicity. I am proud, I am tall and strong yet i have no body and not a thought to speak.
Slowly, I realize the journey is not over. In the march to thoughtlessness, I have forgotten to remember. Forgotten to remember all those thoughts which are just waiting for me to be had. I can see them just on the horizon. They will not let me pass. There is a glance to tell me that I must walk through them to reach my destination. I approach what i am all to familiar with. At first i find my instincts. Sexual urges wash over me like like a warm breeze in the silence. Then anger. Yes, that is it: anger and aggression. I should have know that sex would be followed by her opposite twin: aggression.
Before anger has a chance to take hold, I release her. Ironically, above the yoga studio, i can hear the men in the gym upstairs, lifting weights and pumping iron. I hear their faint cries of sadistic pleasure which ensue the pain of lifting dead weight. I have seen some of those men. Their muscles are huge. Sometimes hugely disproportionate to their heads. They move about with shifty eyes, occupying space. No women are there. The women are mostly with me, in the yoga studio. The men are upstairs, dodging stares which they dart at each other suspiciously and conspicuously comparing the image of what is against the image of what one is. Sometimes, i am with the men but not now. In my yoga class there are but 2 or 3 men in a group of 30 people. They are slender and full of vitality though they may not be young.
The sounds of the dumbells crashing to the floor above bounce off my ears like rain drops deflected by a silver steeple. Inside the steeple, i hear nothing but the sound of my breath, the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide.
Then, I am there. Without realizing, i have been gone. Not only have i left my body but my mind as well. A silent gasp of wonder tells me that i can not remember the last 30 or so seconds. Where was i? I have no memory of where I was just then. No pictures to paint. But now I have peace. Today, I will hold on to that peace and contemplate the nature of a place that can yield a days worth of piece in just 30 seconds. I think i will come back tomorrow.