May 28, 2016

Hope & Yoga

"And hopefulness is really, for me, is not optimism, that everything’s going to be fine and we can just sit back. And that’s too much like pessimism, which is that everything’s going to suck and we can just sit back. Hope, for me, just means a Buddhist sense of uncertainty, of coming to terms with the fact that we don’t know what will happen, and that there’s maybe room for us to intervene. And that we have to let go of the certainty people seem to love more than hope, and know that we don’t know what’s going to happen."  - Rebecca Solnit in conversation with Krista Tippett for "On Being"

On Saturday mornings, I pour my coffee into a paper cup and take myself to yoga. Hair disheveled, almost the way my pillow left it, on winter mornings the same leggings I slept in the night before, warmer mornings a pair of cotton shorts, an oversize t-shirt perhaps still wrapped around me from the night before, and a clean sports bra, always. To get there by 8am is the only goal, "Get onto your mat, Emma," I prod gently to avoid the whirlwind of morning demands. 

And I do. 

I get onto my mat and stretch and reach and let myself be. Cranky some mornings, bone-marrow sad on others, lightly refreshed, energized, scattered, sore, head-chatter too loud, weak, tired, annoyed with myself, all of it, I let myself be. Reach into the pose, not able to reach as far as..., let it be. To reach is all I ask. Let it be. Balance on the tiny places my body connects to the earth, the right foot, the left hand, falling, trying again, falling, laughing. "Play here," she instructs, and I listen. I play and laughter follows, and it's more than I could ever wish to ask for on some mornings. I play with the greatest stretches, the most tenuous places to find balance. "Find your down-dog,"she guides us to find the stability. I breathe in, I breathe out, release it all out, release, out, out, release, move into child's pose. Rest. 

Let it be. Reach. Play. Rest. 

I walk home on warm mornings, with my yoga mat slung over my shoulder, and headphones in my ears. The volume low enough to catch the hellos from the stoops and the good mornings from the sidewalk and toss them back. The week gone and only the block ahead in front of me. On each block, hope finds me well.