“Change.” ~ the cue between every single yoga posture in the hot yoga series

change half moon pose

The sweat is already running down my arms in the first set of Half Moon pose (Ardha Chandrasana). I’m lifting out of my waist and pulling in my core and firming my legs, lifting up, out and over while keeping my hips and shoulders square to the mirror. My breathing is shallow but steady. I’m not sure how much longer I can do this. It all feels impossible and unsustainable, but I press my feet into the floor and the teacher says, “Change.”

* * *

He is curled up on the bed, his breath ragged, tears running down his face. Through gulps of air he looks at me pleadingly, “What is wrong with me?” I stand by the bed with my hands on his back and his shoulder. I look at him, helpless. My precious man, my love, my partner. I tell him I don’t know. My breathing is shallow. I’m not sure how much longer I can do this. It all feels impossible and unsustainable. I feel my feet on the floor and get him some ice and some medicine and slowly, his face softens and changes.

* * *

change savasanaIn the middle of the practice, we take two minutes in Corpse Pose (Savasana) to let the body rest and prepare for the rest of the series. My mind, which is often open and quiet, today is darting right and left into a variety of futures.

* * *

He’s hobbling into the bathroom like a six foot Yoda, complete with gnarled walking stick. I close my eyes and swallow hard. What was once the straight line of his spine is now curving right, then left.

* * *

change spinal twistThe last pose of the series is a complete spinal twist (Ardha-Matsyendrasana) – the ultimate in human pretzel poses. Once I get my arms and legs oriented, I inhale and sit as tall as I can, then reach around my body with the idea of hooking my fingers into my inner thigh. For about 20 months, this has only been an idea, but today, I inhale, sit tall, reach around, and – whoa! – my little finger hooks neatly around my thigh muscle. Change was happening all the time. There was an untapped reservoir of strength and flexibility that feels available now.

* * *

I’m a little startled when I see him standing in the kitchen without his Yoda walking stick. He shows me how much more he can move his shoulder today. I look at him, with his new haircut (a friend brought her scissors and soon the front porch was covered in silver and brown) and my heart feels like it will burst from my ribs. I loved him before, I really did. Something has changed. There was a deep reservoir of love and care that had been untapped before this. That reservoir is open now and flowing fast. The new currents are changing the contours of our connection.

  1. To say I like this post (by putting a “like” on it) is just such a hopeless understatement. I keep coming back and re-reading it and every time I’m awash with emotions I know so well but can’t even name. You write so well and it fills my heart.

    • Thank you. Part of the power of writing is sharing our common experiences. We’ve all been there one way or another. Thank you for reading and sharing. ❤

  2. samantha said:

    beautiful. raw. human. love u (& yoda) xx

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