I’m so sore. From about the bottom of my rib cage to the top of my quads, I feel wrecked. Absolutely demolished. Hip openers tend to be a bit rough, but this was a whole new level of “ouch.” Perhaps, it’s the fact that finally, after nearly a year of consistent yoga practice, I’m actually able to lay claim to having pretty open hips. This weekend’s hip openers, however, may have introduced me to the next threshold in opening those suckers up, and in doing so they unleashed my inner tyrant.
I’ll back up and introduce this a bit. I have been challenging myself to a personal 30 day challenge with yoga through September- so I’m practicing EVERY day for 30 days. It’s not THAT far from my norm, but it’s the days when you really don’t have the motivation and HAVE to do it anyway that make the 30-day challenge worth pursuing – so pursue I will! I did the same thing this time last year, and it was a great way to energize and ramp up into spring! So, about a week into it, feeling good and really happy, I signed up for a hip and lower chakra workshop with Duncan Peak, the founder of Power Living Yoga, based in Sydney, to challenge myself a bit more and learn more about the chakras (spoiler alert: that last part didn’t happen).
If I’m going to be honest (and I am) I was perhaps a bit motivated to sign up by his poster:
He’s not the worst person to fixate on for three hours on a Saturday. In fact, I will do extremely long holds of low lunges at his bidding. I will sit in double pigeon for many minutes. I will work my lower back and glutes until I can barely walk. Yes, Duncan, I will. What’s next? I am an eager pupil.
But, in all seriousness, despite my recognition that he is well-respected in the yoga community, I definitely prejudged him a bit. I do that sometimes, with very good-looking men. I assume they lack substance. But, as is often the case, I was wrong. The man has an extensive knowledge of the kinesiology and anatomy that makes or breaks many poses for people. And he explained it clearly, and with humour! So, despite the raging ache in my hips and back all day today and the feeling that I might actually or metaphorically tear Rick’s head off if he said the wrong thing (hip-openers arouse latent rage inside me…) I think it was one of the best workshops I’ve been too! It makes me more excited than I have been in a long time to continue with my teacher training!
I have to admit that in riding the wave of rage/emotion that comes with deep hip openers I found myself wondering at the level of junk we store in our bodies. It felt to me like over the last few years, my yoga work unpacked emotional stuff relating to my last major relationship – some sad emotions. But, that had really plateaued as of several months ago. I was feeling a bit stagnant in my practice. Breakthroughs were happening with less regularity.
Yesterday’s hip openers, however, took me on a new and different adventure, farther back, possibly into more deeply buried gunk. I spent the whole day today feeling like I did all through college and in the years immediately following: constrained; wanting to break free; generally annoyed with the requirements of life; rebellious; hormonal. There was no apparent cause for this in my life today, so after some reflection I attributed it to the previous day’s hip openers and I decided that rather than risk blowing up at Rick without cause, I’d go take a long walk in the West End. As I was walking with my headphones on I noticed a group of guys at a restaurant kind of looking over at me and smiling. Now, I have not spent a lot of time on my own in the last few years, and I certainly haven’t been hit on much by other guys – so I have to admit I was kinda digging being the object of their desire for a moment. It occurred to me that I had better appreciate the moment with my wedding coming up in less than two months, and I flipped the stone of my engagement ring around my finger as I walked, considering the symbol on my hand with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. What happens if one day I want to be free? Will I always love Rick as I do today?
Now, I know that I want to marry Rick. I have no doubt about that. Since meeting him I have had a sense that he was the one for me. But, it was interesting recalling that the feelings I felt today were reminiscent of much of my life throughout my twenties. It’s like my hip opening session uncovered a deeper store of pent up emotions from a formative period in my life – my freedom-seeking, angst-ridden, flirtatious, ridiculous twenties. Ah, how fun they were, and how glad we all are that they’ve passed away into oblivion, only to be recalled in oblique references by my friends in wedding speeches and more obvious references whenever my sisters feel like reminding me of what a colossal pain-in-the-ass I can be. I fear their reemergence, particularly now.
Perhaps I’m misallocating the cause of my angst. It could be a biproduct of my overall uncertainty over the course of my life as of about two months from now. Or it could be a hangover from the book I just finished – The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. (If you want to spend several hours crying, reliving the major loves and losses in your life, and reflecting on your general smallness in the larger picture, it’s a great book! Have plenty of rehydrating fluids handy though.)
All I can say is, something happened to me over the last week (or yesterday) and I got really grouchy today. I revisited a rebellious, moody, angsty Kat that I haven’t embodied in several years. There were some moments it was a bit amusing, but mostly as I tried to observe the emotions that were coming out I felt grateful to be in a different, more stable, more happy place in my life. As I often do, I reflected on that person I was then, back in my mid-twenties. I recognized how passionately I resisted being pinned to one version of myself, one path forward, or one single person as a partner. Hell, it was my twenties and that’s exactly what they’re for, but in hindsight I realize that I was a bit of a wrecking ball at times.
I guess I’m glad to be where I am, and I am now definitely a bit reluctant to delve too deeply into the meat of my hips in the near future. 🙂