Saturday, February 6, 2010
Jai Guru De Va Om
Last night, I hiked (courtesy of the D train) to a part of New York City I'd never been before; a part of the city for which my only experience has been viewing Saturday Night Fever and marathons of The Honeymooners. Yes, I I went to Bensonhurst.
Why would I go there, you ask? Well, the answer is fairly simple. Have Beatles, will travel.
Anyone who's known me for more than a minute is very aware of the fact that the Beatles are, and always will be, one of the greatest influences in my life (see what I did there?). I've actually met many of my dearest friends and my husband because of the music of the Beatles. I have traveled across the country for years to attend a convention for Beatles fans. So, when I heard from a colleague at school and Bensonhurst native that there was a yoga class in her neighborhood that was set to the music of the Beatles, clearly I had to check it out.
I went to the instructor, MacKenzie's website and saw that the class I'd be attending was called "Let it Be," and was focused on Restorative Yoga. After the half-marathon and the personal training sessions, I've been quite sore, and have had some stiffness in my hips and have taken it easy with the running, so this sounded like it was EXACTLY what I needed.
I arrived at the exercise studio early and met MacKenzie, who was immediately warm and delightful. I grabbed a mat and sat my creaky muscles down. We began in silence, with some gentle breathing as MacKenzie explained that the class would be a series of gentle poses, held for several minutes and breathing with an emphasis on inward focus and relaxation. Yes, please.
The soundtrack for the evening included Here Comes the Sun, selections from Cirque du Soleil's Love show, an early recording of George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, Hey Jude, Across the Universe and many other wonderful songs. As we concluded the class, MacKenzie reminded us that the Beatles said it best when they said, "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." And then we held our final pose for the evening, listening to John Lennon's Imagine. It was really a lovely experience, one for which my achey muscles and joints were incredibly grateful. The joy was only deepened by the experience of listening to such wonderful music, which has meant so much to me for so many years, and has brought so many wonderful people into my life as a result.
My biggest failing as a runner is my tendency to be undisciplined when it comes to nourishing the inner aspect of my running. Not nutritionally, I mean, I'm pretty good about that. But I mean just taking CARE of myself, stretching, remembering to breathe during the day, strengthening myself. More often than not, I forget that simply running isn't enough to make myself the best runner I can be. I get so caught up in going forward, faster and faster, that it can be really easy to forget to just be where I am sometimes. To... you know... Let it Be.
MacKenzie's class reminded me of that. And for everything else that it offered me, and for how wonderful I felt when I left, I'm really very grateful.