Day 12: Releasing laughter into the studio with Ronn.

Although we are now in the middle of September the ladies of Granada that normally attend yoga with me are still on holiday and I have had two full weeks of Ronn to myself. We’ve formed an easy, social and physical energy, the kind that seems to develop over time in a friendship, where you can say nothing, or burst out laughing with whatever is on your mind.

As usual, Ronn is yin to Chris and Bertina’s yang, and he doesn’t believe in coincidences. He zeros in on stretching out the hip areas in several different stretches and poses- exactly targeting the key muscles that were the focus of the strength resistance training with the bands yesterday.

Bertina has explained to me the power of the abdominal area to hold buried emotions and that I shouldn’t be surprised if I felt like crying during exercise. I do believe that there is stored emotion hidden all over my body- if I have been burying my feelings for as long as I’ve had them, they have to be in there somewhere.

Today, I find that she is right but in a different way. There is something about Ronn’s careful coaching through the hip stretches that leads me through subtle shifts that are powerful releasers to joy and laughter. There is a sort of underlying physical euphoria as the inner hip rolls opens and counter reverses in an exterior stretch that is emotional. I try to explain to Ronn the sensation and he validates that anything is possible within the stretch and a whole range of inexplicable events could happen.

Although I know that Ronn wants to stay with gentle yoga and I think that it is wise to counter much of what I do in strength training with different goals and rhythms, I am not sad when he says we are going to be more ambitious today. He’s been back from his holiday for a while now, and I sense that he wants to embrace some of the core strength building stretches he’s been missing in his own routine.  We go into 3 sets of planks, just 45 seconds each but by the 3rd we’re both spent and relieved. He adds in some deep squats and as I sink down into a low sit, I am amazed that in two weeks, it is significantly easier to hold them.

At the end of class, I try to settle my mind down. Ronn has committed himself to explaining and reminding me to the importance of meditation and that it is the goal of the entire yoga practice to prepare the mind for the process of letting the mind go. It’s always been a challenge for me in one way or another. If before I was meditating on my grocery list, today I am mentally distracting myself with an explosion of ideas and the good feelings that dominate my thinking as more negative energy is increasingly distilled from my life.

A sense of strength and empowerment from my new freedom is a high that would not be easy to give up for anything or anybody.  Is that temporary, is it wise, or is it wrong?

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