You may have seen that on January 1st we did 108 Sun Salutations at the Studio. This is something that I have always wanted to do and i invite you to read the posts about it on instagram and Facebook that I posted before the event.
I wanted to recap the experience here because there is so much depth to what happened that day that a simple post that could be lost forever didn’t seem like enough.
There were five of us, I knew two of the ladies as they are regular students but the other two I had never met, and that made me anxious. Because to me the experience was so important that I was worried that they would think it was as dumb or that it wouldn’t be hard enough for them as we were using a chair. We started with some journaling and meditation, moved into a warm up and began.
We started with 10. I gave everyone two cups with 108 glass stones, everytime we did a series we would drop a stone into the empty cup. We did 10 and then we took a break. We did 10 more. Then we all fell into an individual rhythm of moving through the postures and dropping a stone.
After rounds of 10 we chose what our bodies needed: water, rest, stillness; and then we decided when we were ready to begin again. Two of the ladies decided to not use the chair and do them on the mat instead. The other two ladies that were using their chair did so in their own way. We were together, supporting each other, yet also doing our own thing, moving as we needed to move. We were mostly silent except for the odd quip here or there, the music was quiet in the background, but the sound of the breathing in the room was phenomenal. Being able to hear these humans breathe as THEY needed, WHEN they needed. Hearing them breathe reminded me to do the same, and when I needed to take a big sigh of relief or exhaustion, I felt safe to do so because they were doing it too.
There were so many thoughts racing through my mind, the bad:
“I’ll never be able to finish”
“I’m not doing them right because I’m using a chair”
“I’m not good enough”
“My wrists are killing me”
“What if I faint”
“I’m not doing it right”
“Omg there are so many stones left”
“This isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be”
“I am fucking killing this”
“Look at me doing something i always wanted to do”
“2024 I can take whatever you send my way”
But what I really tried to do was stay present in the moment, not wishing it to be over, not thinking of being some where else. Trying to be both in my own practice as well as being there for the other four humans that were at my studio.
I’m going on a little bit of a tangent here, but bear with me as it all comes back together…
Firstly, have you seen the movie The Holiday with Kate Winslett? You know the scenes when she talks about gumption? Well it hit a little bit different for me this year when I was watching it and I decided that my word of the year was going to be Gumption (and this is for many reasons that will be its own blog at some point). So it was after watching The Holiday for probably the 20th time that I decided to take this word into 2024 and it was because of that, that I finally decided to do the 108 Sun Salutations. I have always wanted to do it and something about that word in my back pocket gave me the final push to book the class. Gumption.
So while I was moving through the 108 series the word Gumption kept coming to mind. I thought that If I have the gumption to being doing that, I would be able to take whatever 2024 had in store for me. And not that 2024 would be particularly difficult or easy, but that when challenges arise I will be able to meet them with gumption because I started the year by doing something that I have always wanted to do that was really frickn hard.
So about half way through our series we took a break together and enjoyed a snack, and I have to say fruit never tasted so good. We talked and felt like we were amongst friends because we were, already.
We resumed our series and personally I felt charged with possibility and ready to begin. I wasn’t dreading having to finish, I was determined to finish with a positive attitude and strength in my decision to do this crazy thing. Stone by stone were put into cups, the sound of glass beads tapping on each other. We were individually quiet in our own spaces thinking thoughts that were just our own.
As the last of the beads were dropped into the cups we all found ourselves on our mats in various shapes and states. And when the last bead fell we clapped and congratulated one another. We took the time to take the movement that our bodies needed to cool down and we wrote about our experiences in our journals, then one by one we made our way into our final resting pose for integration. Our Savasana was perfection, each of us taking what we needed. I cried tears of exhaustion, surprise and pride. I cried because I had finally done something that I told myself I could never do. I cried because it happened in the yoga studio that I own.
When it was over and we were finished savasana there was both a peace and excitement in the air, it’s almost hard to explain. What I can say is that I am so grateful for the four humans that joined me on this journey. What an experience! Individually we were powerful, together we were mighty.
And here is a note to you 2024. I welcome you with grace and open arms, but know that I’ve got gumption!