Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wide Open Spaces

Thanks to everyone for your supportive and encouraging words about giving up my race. I am in awe of how wonderful my readers are. In the grand scheme of things a marathon is really nothing at all, but you all understand what it meant to me.  My running people get it. Thank you ALL. :)


Now that I have taken running out of the equation I have no schedule whatsoever.  All of the time I filled with running has become vacant space and I have to decide in which way to fill it.  Luckily, I don't have a TV so it won't be clogged with reality shows (although sometimes that sounds quite nice.)

With this newfound time I was able to drop into a yoga class I have never taken.  It was a last minute decision but there was still one small spot left upon my arrival.  As I rolled out my mat I looked to my right and it was none other than my favorite teacher, Zoe.  She was a student today.  We exchanged hellos and a smile.  I felt a bit nervous having her next to me but it only took a moment to realize she was too enveloped in her own practice to notice my own.

I don’t usually take Hatha classes and I mistakenly assumed Hatha meant slow and easy. Within 20 minutes of this level II class I had sweat dripping between my boobs.  Mind you, this was not a heated class.  The instructor was amazing, providing verbal cues I could easily visualize. She gave a short yoga philosophy lesson at the start and spoke about studentship.  She taught without music which I hadn’t noticed until class ended.  I was engaged and my body was working hard to maintain unfamiliar poses.

At the start of class we were to set an intention and keep someone or something in mind.  As I flashed through the people in my life I realized everyone is doing well.  This made me smile. I shifted my focus then to the animals.  The billions of animals out there that will never be named, loved or given a chance in this world.  I dedicated my practice to them.

When everyone in class sets an intention and practices with that in mind, I swear you can feel the energy in the room.  We treat each posture a bit differently and are less conservative with our movements.  It’s a beautiful thing.  Seeing Zoe next to me as my classmate, practicing quietly and intently rather than instructing was humbling. We held each other’s ankles in support of a challenging one legged pose.  We pressed one another’s shoulders down as we twisted our low backs. She was practicing with some intention unknown to me, but equally as powerful as my own.
Kathryn Budig - beautiful.
i don't look like this when i practice, but this
is how i feel.  free.

This class was transformative. I often say this about yoga and I mean it every time. This particular practice reinforced a few principles I feel are important.  One of these is that we are all teachers and students simultaneously, here to serve one another. Learning from one another while offering up our own experience and understanding.  I often think of myself as just a student in this life but we all have something to give.  Awesome, right?


I realized that when we let go of something it often opens up space for something new; whether that be a lesson, an experience or even a new person. This is why letting go is so difficult in the moment but all right in the end.  Saying good-bye to one thing makes room for something beautiful to enter and enrich our lives.  Maybe that something is actually nothing, like rest and relaxation.  Either way, loss often leads to gain.


Have you ever let go of something to later realize you gained something even better in the end?

25 comments:

  1. I am soooo looking forward to getting serious about my yoga practice. I've scaled back with marathon season coming up to avoid risk of injury (ha, ironic). I just bought a pass for hot yoga and am excited (and a little nervous!) to try something different than my standard vinyasa class. Great post, your dedication is very inspiring!

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  2. beautiful post Kate, i love reading this blog. i love you so much!!!

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  3. First of all, sweat dripping between your boobs is called SWOOBS! Get it right ;) hehe

    When I was a freshmen in college my entire existence revolved around running (oh how naive i was!) But how could you blame me? I was running with some great talent at a pretty good Division I program! So when I had to say good bye to my Track season due to stress fractures I wasn't sure how to function without running. I cross trained with water running, swimming laps, and cycling. After three months of this and summer rolling around I gave triathlon a 'tri' Hello triathlon world....good bye collegiate running! I have been 'tri'ing' now for 8 years and look back on my injury as a blessing in disguise!

    Great post! Sorry for the lengthy comment! Get back to running already! I miss you terribly on my runs!

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  4. Beautiful. :) It's awesome when an instructor and class can make the spiritual realm of Yoga come true and shine bright. Keep trying things to fill your time, whether new or old!

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  5. @Ang - Nerd! ;-) Great example though. I miss running with you too.
    @Tiff - Thank you! Yes, it is amazing and awesome when all is illuminated in your practice. I'm grateful for those moments.

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  6. This is such a beautifully written post. You should write a book!

    I think initially veganism can feel like we're "giving something up" even though we (and the animals and the environment) gain so much more in the end.

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  7. AJ- Perfect example! Love it. When you take meat and animal secretions out of the equation you are left with these huge spaces to fill with compassion and.. well, vegetables! :)

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  8. This was so beautifully written Kate... you are such a persuasive writer and you probably don't even realize it. Everytime I read your blog I want to join in...I want to do what you're doing...I want to feel THAT way. You never cease to amaze me my beautiful child! Love you!! Mom

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  9. What a lovely lovely blog! I've missed a couple of them and so glad that I've caught back up to you with this one. I, too, am struggling with the injuries and while I am not training for a marathon, it is still hard to scale back and let go of my goals in order to heal. I'm going to take your direction though and focus on other things. Let me know if you want to do a spin class with me. I'm not digging it as much as I would like so maybe a partner would help. Miss ya, lady!

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  10. This is the kind of yoga I take - deceptively hard yet more purposeful than "power yoga" types of classes. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

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  11. such a great post.

    I'm with "mom" - she said it much better than I could have.

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