Last week I tried out a new yoga studio offering a great deal for new clients (ten classes for $10!).
The teacher asked us to set an intention at the start of a sixty minute vinyasa practice in a heated room. There were about 30 of us in the room, silently stretching as we began to practice. I have trouble being truly intentional during most of my studio experiences. I think of words like “breathe” and “calm” and “focus” but they never really stay with me. I adore the idea of intention, yet I find it challenging to operationalize.
This time was different. I immediately thought, “I will be true.”
Not strong. Not perfect. Not honest, even.
This unexpected intention stayed with me while the teacher led us brightly and gracefully through a series of sun salutations and floor work.
I will be true, I remembered, as I looked across the room filled with men and women yoga warriors.
I will be true, I inhaled as I raised my arms skyward, receptive, ready.
I will be true, I exhaled as I floated forward, further, and wrapped myself up in a blanket of my own integrity.
Not I will be tolerant (of the less than pleasant smells and awkward brushes with the guy next to me in a steamy, crowded room).
Not I will be terrific, or interesting, or remarkable.
I’m beginning to practice yoga after a lot of time gone by without. An immense river of water has tumbled under my bridge these past few years… the arch that joins spirit to body threatened to come tumbling down more than once.
Beneath my bridge, I dipped a toe in the whirling current expecting to feel a silvery chill. To my surprise I found that the water was warm.
I will be true, I said quietly as I drove home.