Attached to the Mat

I wrote this a few weeks ago and thought maybe I would share it with the Morning Mysore group…

I was feeling really rotten when I got to Mysore this morning. Today is the first day in a long process of getting my son (actually me, but I will say it is for August) acclimated to going to daycare. My goal was to bring him in for one day this week. I chickened out on Monday and Tuesday, and Thursday and Friday we have house guests, so today has to be the day.

I cried all the way from home (San Mateo) there (Palo Alto). Logic dictates that this is silly, that I have done two months of research and this is actually a great opportunity for August developmentally. It is also good for me to start returning to my old life. Get some of the work done that I so foolishly believed I would accomplish on maternity leave and start getting my family back into a routine. Not to mention actually getting the opportunity to do Mysore much, much more often. However, there was a bizarre panic that my body was feeling. Hard to put words to this sensation, just really an overwhelming ache that has no root at all in the mind. And, for some reason, when I am upset I tend to focus on trying to “do” things. I was furiously running around this morning trying to make sure I had every little thing they could possibly need and transforming my sorrow into hostility for Terence not helping me get everything together this morning. Not that I had asked him to help. He had not even begun to think about what we needed to pack because he wasn’t even sure I was going to bring August in this morning. But, of course, logic doesn’t come into play here.

Luckily, by the time I got to Tia Reina’s (the daycare), there was really nothing left – I was “all cried out”. With dignity and composure I brought the three giant bags of things I had over-packed for the occasion and August to her. I then left as quickly as possible.

I arrived at Morning Mysore afraid that on my first backbend I would burst into tears like I had seen so many of my students do. I was afraid to enter the room. As I poked my head in, my hostility toward daycare, maternity leave, Terence, and the state of motherhood in the United States magically transformed itself into hostility at the layout of the mats in the room. It was like sweet, beautiful magic! I completely forgot about leaving my little buddy with a trusted stranger. For the duration of sun salutations my brain was incessantly returning to our placement in the room. I pick properly? Where should I go next time? What if I come earlier, how will that effect my placement? Do I pick a place where I look face to face with someone? How weird will that be? Do I face the dreaded mirrors? What about when we periodically face the other way, can I really escape the mirror entirely? How do I feel about these new teachers? Why did they do this to us? Why aren’t we all facing east together? What happens to purvattanasana (western facing posture)? Is it really properly named now? Would I get less attention with this position, maybe that is good, maybe not? Blah, blah, blah.

By the time my sun salutations were over I had finally let go of the layout of the room and focused on all the million other things I had to remember (breath, bandhas, rotate this, tuck that). Maybe my monkey mind was finally completely exhausted. After the practice was over, when I finally realized what had happened, it was as if I had the biggest exhale of my life. It’s amazing how we become so very attached, so quickly – from something as profound as a child to the minor obsession of which direction we face when practicing yoga. What a great reminder to just let go.

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