A colleague sits in my office for half and hour and pours her heart out about her relationship problems. A friend calls me to ask advice on a recent quarrel she had with another woman. At the same time, my cell phone rings – another girlfriend, newly divorced, asking if she could stop by for a cup of tea (and for dissecting her defunct marriage). Emma’s post about a young person dying. Maybe that is why I feel incredibly sad, weighed down by so much sadness. Or maybe I should start believing in horoscopes and this has all to do with Venus transiting across the sun or one such astronomical happening I don’t know much about.
After 17 years of working things out on a yoga mat, falling in and out of love with yoga but always sticking with it, it’s a yoga mat I want to be on tonight. This intense desire hasn’t manifested in a while. Oh, I still go to class religiously, I even have a yoga app on my i-Pad for when I am too lazy to come up with routines and want to practice at home, but too often I feel like I am just going through the motions. I might have fun, I might get a kick out of it, a good workout or a good relaxation but the proverbial thrill had gone.
Yet, it was to a mat I took my sadness tonight, for a long yin classes with very few poses held for sometimes unbearably long minutes. When I leave class, the sadness has not gone but the weight has lifted enough to come home, eat dinner, sit at my laptop with enough enthusiasm to write a little.
Very few daily activities take me inside the way yoga does. My mother favours ironing but, unfortunately, I don’t seem to have inherited that gene. Getting my nose to my knees does it for me. Or dipping my hands into flour. When too much baking takes place in my kitchen, some problem or sadness is clearly being worked out.
And I am intensely grateful for these physical activities that are able to steer me back into harbour. Sometimes sticking with something, even when the thrill has gone, has its unexpected rewards.