“Put your palms together and bring them to your heart in Anjali Mudra,” said Nichole, our yoga instructor.
I closed my eyes, pressed my hands together, and brought them to my chest.
“Now slowly rub your hands together, away from your chest,” said Nichole.
I rubbed my hands together slowly. And then faster. I felt a smile emerge as I knew what was coming next.
“Bring them back to your chest,” said Nichole. “Do you feel the vibration?”
In my hands and down my arms and through my heart and into my torso I felt a ringing vibration.
“That’s you,” said Nichole. “Feel how alive you are.”
For the next thirty minutes we stretched and moved and breathed deeply into vinyasa poses. And then came the most enchanting part: 45 minutes of free-form dance.
With my eyes closed, I freely moved my body around the room to middle eastern music and electronic beats. I skipped, jumped, threw myself to the floor, rolled around, shook my hips, and moved in whatever way fully and freely expressed my authentic self. We all did. There were five of us, each in our own element yet working together as a collective. We held space for each other, moving independently and yet in sync.
The class closed with a circle ceremony, our legs crossed and knees touching each other. We thanked each other for the space provided and the openness to express.
In leaving the class, I felt vibrant and invigorated, unable to stop thinking about the endless dance of life. The natural rhythms, the ebbs and flows, the potential we have every day to lean in and realign with who we really are.
There were moments in the class when I wondered, “Do I look like a fool?” which I quickly reminded myself, “Who cares… feel the music… be you.”
There were moments when I opened my eyes, felt inspired by the movement surrounding me, and altered my step and shake to align with that energy.
With each song brought a different energy, a different move, a different style. From anger. To saddness. To pleasure. To pain. To joy. To delight. To gratitude. We explored a spectrum of emotions, reminding ourselves that emotion is beautiful and worthy of fully experiencing and expressing.
As I sit home now on my porch writing this, feeling the cool evening breeze against my skin, I reflect on the freedom I felt in those forty-five minutes. I wonder how can we, in every moment, feel that same freedom. And it’s now that I realize that freedom emerges when we’re in complete alignment with who we really are.
How can you, today, realign with who you really are?
Thanks to Mailande
and Nichole for inspiring this and Nate
for reading the draft.