Cultivating happy return

Yesterday, while still in Ohio visiting my family, I went to yoga with Kerrianne at Yoga on High, her regular studio. It was a Hatha Yoga class with Tom. If you live there, I highly recommend a class with him.

He talked about moving through postures slowly and in between each side, not rushing the same set of movements. Instead, coming back to the center and doing whatever feels right for your body to balance before moving to the other side. He called it “cultivating happy return.”

For me, it meant more than that in two other respects.

One is that I was returning home. And it was happy! Kerrianne had a wonderful party for me and I got to spend time with lots of people I love. I hadn’t seen everyone since I’d gone through cancer treatment so I am grateful to get that chance.

The second is that during that class, I had a pose come back into my practice that I’d not been able to do since my surgery. Namely, Eagle Arms. That pose is when you intertwine your arms in front of your body. (see the pic) Since my surgery, it’s been exceedingly difficult to do. My shoulder mobility is slowly returning.

eagle arms

Tom walked us through a series of twists, focusing on scapular movement. Asking us to think about moving one scapula up and the other down. One forward and one toward the spine. After an hour, it was that isolation of movement that found me patiently following instructions and suddenly realizing, “I’m in Eagle Arms!”

It was joyful.

After class, Tom came over and introduced himself and I shared that I was visiting. I also told him that I got into that pose for the first time in many months. And he said that it was serendipitous that I came to class that day.

I don’t really believe in accidents. I believe that sometimes we miss opportunities, but I think that if we are open to it, the world is full of second, third and fourth chances.

Then, don’t worry. 

This morning I had coffee and breakfast sandwiches with Aspen and Michael at Starbuck’s before school and before I had to scurry off to PT. It’s something that Michael and Aspen have done most Wednesday mornings for a couple of years. This year, I’ve joined the coffee klatsch.

I ended up being quite late to PT because traffic was quite thick and slow. And I forgot my phone at home. So I couldn’t call and I couldn’t re-route. So I just sat in my car and sang and drove, realizing that I, too, am traffic and there was literally nothing else I could do. I was remembering a yoga class with Briana where she talked about how if you have a problem and there’s nothing you can do about it, then don’t worry. So I didn’t. I was going to be 25 minutes late if I worried or not. And as it always does … life goes on.


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