Old Things

I walk into the heat

I don’t know how hot they keep it, I’ve been meaning to ask

The more bodies, the hotter it is

The room is packed today

38 yogis and yoginis

Ready to sweat

I find a spot, making sure I can see myself in the front mirror

Not for vanity,

so I can hold my own gaze during the balancing poses

So I can watch my foot rise above my head and kick out, kick out more

*
Class begins

26 poses, all but one repeated twice

I thought it would get boring, but it doesn’t

I feel the charge of my own ego and the egos around me

It’s hard not to let the ego rise in this room of glistening, semi-bare bodies

Watching ourselves in the mirror as we contort our forms into one challenging posture after another

“Try not to let your eyes dart around,” the instructor will say

Class continues

*
We finish the standing series and move onto the floor

Usually I begin to cool down a bit at this point

Not today

I am sweating profusely, the heat is almost unkind

My physical heart is pounding like I’ve just been sprinting

As we rest briefly between poses,

blood and lymph circulation is accelerated

The locks in my body and mind are melting

Unwinding

And I feel the tug at the lock of my other heart, my feeling heart

And now the lock is open, and old things are being lifted away

Old things, dead things, sad things, dark things

Tears smart in my eyes

No, not now!

*
There is a message: Don’t dwell on

those old things

As long as you keep sweating, keep following the instructor’s voice

This purification will continue

It won’t happen all at once, but over time

Over this entire lifetime

And someday,

someone will know your secret heart

where joy and compassion are triumphant

The feeling heart that has made the lotus journey

It begins in the mud long before it blossoms on the surface of the water

Class is over

Cold shower

Old things remain

But less of them

*

from 1/26/14

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