I went to my SECOND yoga class last night. It was more difficult than my first class–the instructor was more demanding, the class more crowded, the poses focused on core muscles (the weakest point in my body). I was trembling, I felt my body STRETCHING!
But I still loved it. There is something about yoga that is NON-competitive and it really just makes me focus on myself and my capabilities in that moment. One of the gifts of my stroke (yes, there are gifts) is having been forced to live in the present tense–quite a relief from my normal self. My normal self spends 80% of its time fretting and worrying about the FUTURE. The FUTURE looms LARGE in my mind.
The stroke gave me a bit of a cure from that, robbing me of my short term memory and the ability to juggle things in my head, retain them…in short, the stroke robbed me of the tools/ingredients for worry. I could ONLY focus on the moment and enjoy that moment, for in half an hour, it would dissolve into the recesses in my mind, lost, like the fading of a picture.
And so it goes with yoga. I’m still not 110% in love with it yet–it takes an effort to get my butt to class, but once I’m there, I’m liking it a lot. And afterwards, I feel a great sense of peace.
The after effects of yoga are quite notable. I feel more flexible already, I feel the hint of improved posture. And this week? I have an incredible HEIGHTENED SENSE OF SMELL. I can smell EVERYTHING!
For better and for worse–this morning I was at the Chinese consulate and waiting in line outside, I was nauseated by the smell of cigarette smoke. I tried very hard to keep reading my New Yorker, but I just could not ignore the overwhelming SMELL. And then when we were let inside and we took our places in the seats, our numbered tags in hand, I was overwhelmed by the SMELL of PEOPLE. The smell of people breathing through their mouths, the smell of people who hadn’t showered, the smell of moth balls! It was incredible–and a bit unexpected.
I mean, I always look at my dogs, just reveling in the scents of the world. Sometimes, I’ve envied them their acute sense of smell, they seem to take such intense pleasure out of it, sticking their noses out the car window, sniffing their food and trembling with joy! That.is.not.what.I.experienced this morning.
Then later, I accompanied a friend to lunch–I didn’t eat because the place was not kosher for passover, but I did take pleasure in being out in the sunshine–but oh man. The place SMELLED. Like a kazillion kinds of smoky food. The cacophony of smells was dissonant. I had to step outside. My friend wasn’t bothered by it at all–but how could he NOT have smelled all of that?
Oh, and I immediately picked up a cough last night after yoga. A bit of phlegmy cough. I thought perhaps that was because of yoga.
But I think the cough and phlegm might be–the flu? Argh. But it’s nearly May!