If we all do a tree pose does that make us a tree posse?
*Disclaimer: I want to be upfront with you by telling you this is a post about yoga. Ugh, yes, I’m one of thoooose people. I’m not going to end it with “namaste” and it’s not like I’m chanting while I write this, but just a warning that things are about to get crunchy in here.
Work has been stressing me out lately. Scratch that; life has been stressing me out lately. I’m working two jobs, struggling to make rent and maintain a semblance of the life I moved out here to lead, and I’m weighted down. But this isn’t about the xanax prescription I (and my generation) think I need, this is about yoga and me ditching out of work early to catch a much-needed class over at my new favorite studio, Strala.
I haven’t traditionally been a fan of yoga so when I found Strala in all of it’s sun-drenched, laid-back glory, I couldn’t help but fall in love. It’s not a place to go and be spiritual (though to each his own), it’s a place you go to connect with your body and mind without all of the fuss that New Yorkers tend to serve up in heaping spoonfuls. The studio is elegant, the space is serene, and it’s difficult not to feel at peace here.
Something funny happened to me today while I was ignoring all those emails (sorry boss). I was in tree pose (ok, you can’t get rid of all the yoga talk) and I was deep in concentration mode trying to maintain my balance, when the instructor told us to remember to breathe. In his soothing voice that seems to accompany all yoga teachers he said, “the purpose of this is not to be a statue; the purpose is to be full of life”. And it dawned on me that I was so focused on being a perfectly statuesque tree that I’d completely forgotten to breathe. It isn’t often that my activities become such an overt metaphor for my life, but this one seemed to be hitting me over the head. The perfectionist in me had all but taken over in the last few weeks and I’ve been a fighting to breathe ever since.
I won’t belabor the point because I know there’s a little piece of Patty perfection in all of us and this is about as straight forward as my fake yogi-self can comprehend; but the purpose of tree pose life isn’t to be a perfect still-life portrait of what you think you should be. It’s about not being afraid to lose your balance and being full of life in the most literal sense.