Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Me Time: Hot Yoga

It’s 105 degrees in the room where I escape and recharge. Cool by instructor Jim’s standards, but not mine. And yet to me – it’s heaven.

It’s hot yoga. Twenty-six postures, twice each, of absolute “me time.” Dandayamana Janushirasana: standing, head to knee. This is a free zone – no sink full of breakfast dishes, no chauffeuring to doctor’s appointments, school and activities, no constant drone of “Do your homework! Stop tackling your brother!” It’s absolute silence other than the instructor’s directions. Dandayamana Dhanurasana: standing bow. I don’t have to make any decisions here or answer any questions. I just listen. Listen to my thoughts. Listen to my body.

 “Okay, kiddos – everybody up,” Jim calls as he walks into the room. Everyone silently rises and stands in the middle of their mats. “No talking. Drink all you want, but please drink only between the poses.” I love this part: No talking. No awkward chatting with your neighbor, no phone; no whining, screaming, fighting. I savor every minute of dripping sweat, panting breath, silent cursing – and, somehow, peace.

This is where I go so I can be the Mom I want to be for my kids. As the sweat pours down my arms and legs (and I mean really pours), I can feel the tension release and I know my worries are all little things that soon enough will be gone. I lie on my mat, feet together, palms up, eyes open and stare at the ceiling, smiling to myself. I know the room is full of 50 or more other people, but I feel alone and able to clear my mind.

When it’s all over, I feel ready for the sink full of dishes, the dirty faces, the homework and endless doctor appointments. Real life somehow doesn’t feel as much like a pressure cooker after this self-imposed hot chamber. But even more important, I’m relaxed and better able to enjoy my kids. I can see the beautiful smiles underneath the dirt and hear the requests for snuggling up with a book together that hide just beneath the teasing and fighting. I may not be able to travel to Italy, India and Bali, but I can find 90 minutes to get me back to me. 

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