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Yogis in the mist

Today was a classic case of turning lemons into lemonade. What had at first seemed like a potential inconvenience became a blessing.

Because our local YMCA is refinishing the wood floors in the various studios, including our early morning yoga studio, our teacher decided to hold class outside in a pavilion back near the woods. I trudged off to class this morning at 5:20 a.m. and arrived as my teacher was pulling a wagon full of mats through the parking lot to the pavilion, which could not be seen at that point because of heavy mist and fog. If I hadn’t checked to see where the pavilion was beforehand, I never would have found it. Yeah, that foggy.

I settled my mats (I always use two for extra cushioning) down on the concrete slab and sat down to face a stand of enormous pine trees, rising majestically through the misty morning air. Breathtaking. So breathtaking, in fact, that I have now vowed (Finally!) to get an iPhone because I really would have liked to capture a “View from My Yoga Mat” photo for you today. (Instead I’m using that beautiful photo above from Now & Zen. I’m linking to them here, so I hope they don’t mind.)

As class began, the sound of birds chirping, an occasional woodpecker, and a distant train whistle turned that little concrete slab into an outdoor monastery. It was beautiful in every way — the sounds, the smell of wood chips, the dampness on my yoga mat from the mist, the gray of dawn giving way to the light of morning.

We did several Sun Salutations just as the sun was coming up. I felt like I was lifting the sun with my arms, and all the while I was thanking God for his beautiful creation, for the glorious morning, for the people around me on their mats, for my teacher. I found myself smiling through the poses because at almost every turn I was surprised again by the beauty around me, right there in the back of the Y parking lot.

When I returned to the Y later that day for a Zumba class (I’m a woman of many talents), I told the manager how much I liked the outdoor yoga class and asked if they would please let that happen again, even after the floors are all dry. I hope they go for it because it really shook things up in the gentlest, most beautiful way.

If you have a patch of grass or a patio or a balcony, take your mat outside one morning and see how it feels. Even if you don’t have space, just go out there and do a few still poses — Tree, for example, which we did this morning, reaching our arms toward the sky like all the other trees around us. Spectacular. Even in the tiniest space you could do Tree or Mountain or Chair or Eagle or whatever strikes your fancy.

Change your view and you just might change your day.

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