Walden Within

As much as swimming works my lungs, stretching and shrinking them as I breathe and blow, it is nothing like the feeling of expansion I find in yoga. Each rib lifts and separates from its neighbor as I raise my hands in mountain pose or stretch them forward and back in warrior one. It is exhilarating to allow the body to explore new spaces with my breath, to allow my focus to dwell within these spaces.

I observe my feet, the balls into the toes and back down through the heels. The connection I have with the earth. The feeling of being grounded. I think of my body suspended in the midst of that great ocean of water. The millions and millions of molecules that are Walden, the middle of the pond, as far from ground in any direction as I can be. The feeling of being anchored in my self while I am suspended and supported in water. Yet how can this be? This grounding that yoga tells me I find through my nerves, my skin feeling earth, yet which I experience when I my skin, my senses feel everything but earth?

I have been reading an interesting book this week. Appetites by Caroline Knapp. She talks about an emptiness within her self. A yearning. How she manifest this with her own starvation. I certainly remember as a teenage anorexic that feeling of emptiness. I remember it also from my early adult life. Wanting. A sense of being anything but firmly grounded. Within Walden i have learnt to connect with my self, with the universe I am part of, with the yoga that lies within.

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