Not long ago I shared a poem inspired by the remarkable 2016 concert featuring Amos Lee along with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (Feeling The Photons). The evening was a glorious experience and one which did not cease at the end of the performance. In fact, the experience continues to this day for me.
My wife and I were bidding farewell to the friends who had joined us when a mystical moment occurred. I turned to my friend Rachel and said, “I hope you had a good time.” Her response paired with a smile to create something extraordinary. As I looked at her, everything around us fractured and all background crumbled away from view. There was nothing but her and, most prominently, the smile. One of the most calm, content feelings I have known washed over me. The image remains vivid in my mind, yet words to describe the experience are hard to find. This is the best I can do to convey what occurred to cap off an evening deeply etched in my memory.
It took a while for me to see the tremendous value in the practice of yoga. A lack of understanding led to a complete dismissal without even trying a class. Truthfully, the lack of understanding translated into a bit of fear and, therefore, a decision yoga would not be beneficial. Once I finally did agree to try a yoga class with my wife, the first encounter further tainted my opinion. The best way I can describe the experience is that the class was led by a spiritual whack-a-doodle. I just didn’t get it, or maybe that particular moment was not the time for me to start a yoga practice.
Then came a point in my workout routine where a change was needed. Something new was necessary to remain active but not be so demanding of my body. I decided to give yoga another try, and the second experience was very different. Yoga has since become a regular part of my workout routine. The physical, mental and spiritual benefits are far too many to list here.
After reading the remainder of this introduction and the poem, there will likely be those who think I have become the spiritual whack-a-doodle. Regardless, here we go.
There were only two of us who came to my favorite class one evening. The other person was far across the room and it felt nice to have a lot of open space around me. At the beginning of the session we were in a simple standing pose with the purpose of just “arriving on the mat”. We held a tall posture with shoulders back, palms facing forward and eyes closed. It was a moment of calm as we concentrated on long, deep, controlled breathing in an effort to shut out everything and just be present. As tension trickled out of my body, senses heightened and a recognition came that someone was standing very close by to my right. My eyes fluttered open slightly but remained gazing straight ahead. In my peripheral vision I could see the other person in class had not moved closer, so I turned my gaze to the right. Indeed someone was standing there, but he was somewhat out of focus.
It took a few days, but I did eventually recognize the guy standing to my right. Did anyone else in the class see him? Probably not. But there is no doubt I saw him.