For the first time, I went to this hot yoga studio in Fulham, near my children’s house. It’s tucked into the end of a sweet little mews row, hidden away in the back streets of Parsons Green.
The teacher, Michael, was lovely. We did the usual postures, holding each one for about 10-15 seconds in the hot room. Whilst I was holding a particularly challenging posture (my hamstrings were screaming), he said something very profound:
“When you are about to fall out of your posture because you can’t hold it any longer, that’s when the posture begins.”
His words hit a sweet spot in me. Indeed, one gets lots of wisdom on the yoga mat. For isn’t this when true love begins, when you struggle to the point that you can’t bear it anymore and want to get out, but you hang on for just that little while longer, because you love someone in sickness and in health, through the good and bad times? I think that’s when you separate real love – someone who is a partner for life – from a person who is in for the good times only, using you, coming along for the free ride, and bailing out when life is no longer easy or fun. Many people quit love – and yoga – because they bail out at this point.
And here’s the great thing, if you stick around through the hard times, the lovely times will come again soon. Truly. There’s nothing more meaningful than sharing it with someone who is there for you through the pain and darkness.
I held that challenging pose that little bit longer, dedicating it to my soulmate/life partner/love of my life who, OMG, he fought all his internal voices of reason (and my strident one telling him to go away) to be here with me. Still. As my yoga teacher says, when you are at peace with what’s going on (screaming hamstrings, pumping heart, lightheadedness) you can balance here forever as your spirit soars.