I stand at the top of my yoga mat and take a moment to notice what’s already happening in my body.
My upper back and shoulders are rounding forward and my head follows their lead.
Tired, I think. I feel tired.
The heels of my feet carry most of my weight and my arms hang at my sides feeling tight and dehydrated.
I look down and notice the fingers on my right hand curl in considerably more than the fingers on my left hand.
My breath is uneven and shallow.
I bring my hands to my heart and try to honor the body I stand in, with all its imperfections.
Lifting my head, I begin to breathe deeper.
I root down evenly through the soles of my feet and let the inhale lift my shoulders from the inside. My head finds its rightful place on top of my spine and with my next breath I lift my arms high.
Space. I want to create some space.
I move slowly, reminding my body to follow my breath.
Mountain pose (I root down into my center).
Arms lift (I rise up into my present).
Forward fold (I bow in gratitude for all I have).
Rising halfway (I lift my heart bravely).
Bending at the hips (I fold in to replenish).
Arms reach for the sky (I rise up to receive).
Hands in prayer (I offer my head to my heart).
A sweet soul-sustaining breath echoes in my ear.
A few sun salutations later I stand at the top of my mat and wonder if anything has changed.
My hands are the most noticeable. My fingers hang long and relaxed at the end of my wrists. My feet are weighted evenly on the floor and my breath is even and full.
I press the edges of my thumbs into my sternum and pause.
Thump thump thump.
Thank you, Heart.
Practice reminds me that under my imperfect skin and bones my heart beats perfectly.
Thank you, Yoga.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Carrie Marzo / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Robert Bejil / Flickr