Namastay in Bed
Author: Ariela Jacobs
Sometimes you experience some pretty heavy days and nothing seems to suffice. So you tell yourself that everything will be ok in the midst of a little downward dog. Everything will settle, all will dissipate. You’ve been in bed all day, so technically yoga is the only thing that will be beneficial right now. You arrive. The teacher tells you this weeks class is about all about FEAR and he’s blasting James McMorrow’s cover of Wicked Game. Half of you says this is perfect and the other of you now questions why you even came here in the first place.
Breathe in. Stillness. Breathe out.
One arm outstretched, you’re already sweating profusely onto the mat. You question why you didn’t wear a crop top, so you tuck your oversized t-shirt into your bra you bought in year 8. You wonder where the girl in-front of you bought hers.
Breathe in. Stillness. Breathe out.
One leg outstretched, you’re reaching towards something, to the future, your body is in the present but your brain, somewhere in the past - seven years back, three weeks, two hours ago to a conversation that did not matter then but it somehow, severely matters now. And you need an answer, now.
Breathe in. Stillness. You forget. Breathe out.
You’re doing the best tree pose of your life but the heavy sighs from the person beside you is a reminder that this is also about them focusing on themselves. Yet, now you’re not focusing on you at all. And that's what this is about, self. But is it? And why does it sound like everyone is touching themselves, and why is the yoga teacher always unattainably attractive? And is everyone looking at you? Perhaps. Is that egotistical? Of course. But there’s no ego in yoga. But remember, it's ok to fall.
Then you think about the end of the class although you're only 15 minutes in. You ponder. It kind of feels like you’ve been part of a group orgy when you walk out into the bright waiting room after class. Nobody can make eye contact, and even saying thank you to your yoga teacher feels like you’ve crossed every chakra boundary. There’s still an hour to go, focus.
Breathe out. You start thinking of your ex’s ex’s ex and how all their imaginary traits relate and may exceed your current state of existence.
Breathe in, this is clearly about you - And your ex’s ex’s.
Breathe out. The teacher tells the more advanced students to take their advanced poses to the top of their heads. You want to be advanced, you try to walk on your head; you realise this is an analogy for life. You judge yourself and suddenly all your high school experiences take centre stage. But you’re in your late twenties and high school was seven years ago.
Breathe in. You haven’t listened to any of the instructions, but you’ve managed to match every cyclical pattern of each and every human in the room. You’re a dancer. Suddenly you’re a dancer. And you consider signing up for beginners hip hop classes at the studio down the road. You also consider changing your entire life path, and suddenly, moving to Alaska doesn't seem like such an impulsive idea.
Another chair pose, your legs, they burn. But you push on, because that’s what you do. You push on.
You’re on the floor. You've finally gotten here, and once again it’s all a bit too symbolic. There’s a knee hug, a twist, another knee hug, you’re pretty much hugging yourself. It’s all one big hugging party. But all you want is a hug from the person who can’t give you a hug, and that’s why you came to yoga for the first time in a year, to forget about that respective hug - and hug yourself.
Breathe out. Savasana. It’s silent. You lay still. Your mind is a rampage. You think in technicolor and irrationality. You think about how you will conquer the world and deactivate all your social media accounts after class is done. It’s irrelevant. It’s trivial. It’s an existential crisis.
But before long, there’s nothing. Absolutely nothing. Only silence. You've surrendered. And, then you remember, this is what you came here for. Nothing.
And then you bump into everyone you’ve ever met in your life when you’ve stepped back into daylight. And you tell them you’re doing really well. And in that moment, you’re actually not lying; it’s true. Then you realise life is just a series of moments and if you learn how to create more moments like that, you’re actually going to be fine.
It's actually, always going to be fine. Just breathe. You’re here.
Photo by Liam Maguire