Light and Loveliness

Reflections of Emily Sue Allen

Family / Life & Faith

The Real Down Deep

One sibling photo a week throughout the year. 23/52

The yoga instructor happened to be standing at the door having a conversation with someone else. I’ve been going to the YMCA for over a year and a half but have avoided the yoga room like the plague. In fact, I’ve avoided all group classes like the plague, for no real reason. I didn’t quite know how to leap over the ‘new person’ hurdle and join in on a class without feeling totally lost, which for some reason, was a bigger-than-normal hurdle for me.

I heard the instructor explaining something to another member, and they parted ways right as I was walking by, so I spontaneously asked her straight up how to go about participating in a class without being a disruption. I also asked which of the classes offered would be a good starting point for someone entirely unfamiliar with yoga. Her smile was warm and we looked at the posted schedule together, and I decided that I would leap over that hurdle at the next available opportunity.

That opportunity presented itself the next morning, and I went in with purpose, and a slightly elevated heart rate (from nerves), and did my best to follow along. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this was going to be very hard for me. Matching movement and extension to the best of my ability, I could feel my not-very-old bones creaking and my legs not cooperating. As the session progressed, I reached a point where I could physically not do the pose, or anything close to the pose, even with the modifiers (strap and blocks) available.

All at once, I started to cry, silently, but very tearfully, and I kept on crying for quite a long time. I’ve always been a deep-feeler, but in those moments, I recognized that with all the ground I’ve gained in the health, well-being, inner-healing and strength of my body in recent years, I still hold my hurts and traumas deep in every muscle. While I wanted to open and surrender as instructed, I still brace and hold tight…to the point that I cannot physically accomplish what I mentally purpose to do without God’s gentle work to transform, heal, and redeem those hurts.

I wonder if you have spots like that in your own life, where you wish for freedom or courage or flexibility or openness, but your muscle memory and outright limitations keep you from taking hold of it. I pray for those wounds and for God’s work in them, through them.

I can’t say that I’ll return to yoga again soon. Not that it was a bad experience, but it did make me aware that I have some prayerful work to tend to before I take another class.

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

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Update on goals for week 23:

1) Run/walk at least 10 miles per week. Week 23 ~ 15.5 Run/Walk miles traveled, 250.5mi in 2015
2) Write 10,000 words weekly. Week 23 ~ 1,800 words completed, 74,600 words in 2015

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801. the weight of souls, 802. the honor of listening to a friend’s troubles, 803. a green lake day, 804. nice sunscreen, 805. playful sparrows, 806. a child’s epiphany, 807. little girl dress alterations, 808. girls crafty night, 809. an easy 15 miles, 810. geology fair projects (and glitter paints), 811. tender mercies at the end of a season with my youngest, 812. vision, 813. finding a new summer rhythm, 814. a little less gluten, 815. the hope that Jesus is and continues to be, 816. the front end of forgiveness and preparing the heart to let go, 817. lanterns that light the way, 818. recent neighbor exchanges, 819. yoga discoveries and body work journey, 820. membership