be still and know

As I write this, I've just come back from a yoga class that challenged me more than that one time I was silly enough to go to an intermediate vinyasa class after more than two of years of not practicing. I'm no yogi, so please bear with me as I try to explain.

The class was called 'yin yoga', meant to help us practice being in our bodies while stretching out connective tissue that is often ignored or held too taut throughout our week. Our teacher took us through multiple poses, each of them held for around three to five minutes, which doesn't sound like much until you have to face down each second in the same stretch.

A practice of stillness, our teacher said, introducing the practice to new students in the class. It was at those words that I wanted to run out of the studio, and had to will myself to stay seated.

 

I'm not good with still. Don't get me wrong, I love lazing around and doing nothing, especially after a period of hardwork but even when I'm lazing around and doing nothing, I'm still doing nothing. Even when I'm supposed to be doing something and I choose not do, I manage to actively procrastinate. You know the one- where you suddenly feel a need to alphabetize your herb storage instead of sending that work email due in an hour.

Back to yin yoga class, and I cannot hold still to save my life. I am the bane of my fellow students' existence I'm sure. I'm the one next to you shifting, pulling a support block closer to me then moving it back, adjusting the pillow I'm sitting on, moving in and out of the stretch from child pose, mat squeaking beneath me. The noises are all the more amplified by how carefully I'm trying to move in order to be quiet, which in an already silent room means they are as loud as if I had a microphone pointed at me. Of course, now I feel guilty, which just adds to my restlessness. It is mercy when the stretch time ends and we have to move, thank God move, into the next position.

I'm really not good with still.

Which of course means that the universe spends a good amount of its interactions with me asking to me to be still. I hardly ever listen. Part of it is stubbornness, but after this class I now realize it is also that I don't know how.

All this to say that I'll be at yin yoga class next week, and in the days between I'll turn as ever to the tarot for some guidance, specifically The Hanged Man, the tarot's very own yogi.

He's been serenely haunting my cards recently, humming the beginnings of a hymn from my church days, "Be still and know...".

Whatever in the world that means, I tried to find it here: Studying with The Hanged Man: Trickster, Martyr, and Intuitive.



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