We had a Yoga Therapy workshop at our local studio, Yoga Connections, for neck and shoulders by Dillon Cherrett. Admittedly, it wasn’t something I expected. In fact, I totally had envisioned something else. We began with an opening mantra… and chanting (and yes, you will love Dillon’s voice!)… and my mind started to wander… will the others sing as well?? We belong to a community where the possibility of even humming an OM can create a raucous in the area. And slowly my doubts and fears subsided as the voices of 20 courageous yogis filled up the room.
The workshop itself is basic alignment to allow our bodies ease in asanas from Savasana to Downward Dog and adding a touch of one’s own optimal alignment. And again, there were certain cues I did not expect, creating this obscurity in my own learned skills… swatting my head silly for being doubtful again… and telling myself to remain open and enjoy the process of learning. Not even halfway during the workshop, using these “different cues”, I saw the change in their bodies. I saw their potentials. I saw that it is actually working for them. And this made me realize and understand the phrase… “Yoga is for every… body”.
Then we reached the pose of Utkatasana, Chair Pose. Like how hard can that be?? But it was presented ‘differently’ again. As we work with partners, one does the pose; while the other places their feet on your shins, grip the backs of your knees as you bend them lower and lower… my partner joked she may not be strong enough to hold me. And who knew that it was at that moment when Dillon walks by, hearing it, and offered to ‘hold me’.
Who knew that when I scolded myself internally to shush my ego who was telling me… “how hard can it be?” that Dillon will not relent. He kept cueing, those same-different words… and like a slap on my head, my ego shushed and whoa…!!!
Who knew that when I extend my tailbone to its fullest and reach up to lift my sternum with my shoulder blades pulled back in Utkatasana, a basic asana… that I would feel a jolt of glorious electricity churning inside me, building to a ball of wondrous current, and come out in a brilliance of unimaginable light of firecracker-like explosion?
Who knew that a workshop for neck and shoulders would ignite whatever the heck it was? That in making the effort, we can really find the comfort. That in creating the space, we really create an openness. Regardless of the vulnerability of the pose where I could fall on my face, as I lengthened what I can lengthen, as I stretched what I can stretch…
Though Dillon said, “I’ve got you”.
And I know that and replied, “I trust you”.
That in the brief moment of trust to someone far better than I am, that in the moment of his confidence greater than his teachings… I have been given the opportunity to experience this tremendous sensation, excuse me for my words, but way, way better than orgasm… … Was it bliss? Was it spiritual ecstasy? Is this the same as Ecstasy of St. Teresa? I never understood that growing up.
Dillon’s words as I was coming up to release the pose… arms in victory up in the air… “Look at her smile!! That is the joy of yoga right there!” Or something like that.
And I know he saw it. I know he felt it, too. We both experienced this odd, undisguised ‘light’. The familiar surrealism of it all!! I hugged him with my deepest gratitude for allowing me to know it really exist. To feel it for myself. I wanted to cry; but the feeling is sooo overwhelming, I have to admit I was simply in a daze.
I walked out of the studio and headed to the store. Still in the same yet familiar daze. I saw people, chatted some, but can’t quite remember the details. Someone was texting me and I am grateful for that person appreciating my daze, shaking my daze, making me realize I can not buy my bananas and peanut butter and jam in a daze.
I expected a workshop. I expected lots of lectures and hands on. I even expected to feel sore because of my recent injury. I expected to come out of the studio doing circles with my right shoulder and my neck.
I got more from it.
I did not expect this sensation, this keen awareness of whatever it is.
I expected to have words about the workshop.
I did not expect I would be at a loss of words for this feeling.
I received the unexpected.
Namaste to all. =)