One thing I love about yoga is that I focus so completely on myself and how my body feels. I shut out everyone else but the instructor and work my own body. There is no sense of comparing myself to anyone else in the class. There's only the sense of me, of how this stretch feels, of going far enough yet not too far. If I don't concentrate on that, I hurt myself and lose the calming benefits of it.
I have made friends in the class. I got there a few minutes late yesterday, and Pam had gotten out a block for me, and had a tidbit of news to share. The others greeted me and said they missed me in the weeks I haven't attended. I felt so warmly accepted and loved. And then I got into focus and did the workout, blocking out the others in the class.
Anthony went with me, for his first time. While I ignored him--he didn't even put his mat next to mine--I still looked his way now and then. But mostly, I focused on me. The way it should be in yoga. But there was this connection, like a thread between us, a constant awareness of his presence. Not in a bad way, just there. Our bond, a thread between us, not even of thought, not of focus. Just awareness. Like it's all the years stretching between us, all the experience and bonds and love and trials, of comfort and grief, just hanging there in the air. It didn't interfere in my workout. It was just there, like the air and light and sound. A part of me, yet other. Breathe in deeply, exhale, feel his presence.
It's the way I feel when I feel close to God. Like I'm better just for him being there. I am more than myself, yet less. Focused, individual, yet part of something bigger, something stronger, something united.
Picture from www.dietivity.com