When I was in first grade, my school
still did air raid drills. I’ll summarize for those who are
younger: This enormous, exhilarating horn blasted in the middle of
class, with no warning except for the shifty eyes of the nuns, who
must have been told ahead of time. We’d all leap up (“Quiet,
now! Quickly and quietly!”) and hide under our desks, as though one
of those rickety grade one desks might save you from an atomic bomb.
By grade two, somebody had figured out that rickety desk thing. We
now walked (“Quiet, now! Quickly and quietly!”) in single file
out to the school yard, as though this might give us a chance to run from falling bombs. We loved it. It
was recess with a bit of make believe.
Fun is the thing I remember,
particularly under the desk. I loved the game, and the curling into a
tiny ball, impervious to Attacks From Anywhere.
This is what I think of every time I do
a seated, cross-legged forward bend (Sukhasana variation), my favorite comfort position.
Last year I would have screamed in this pose–it takes a bit
of flexibility–but this year it is perfect. I feel safe,
compact, and gleeful, as though we’re all a part of some fabulous
grade one theater performance. My forehead rests on the floor in
front of me, cool and calm, with no nuns to call an end to the
happiness. I can play this game as long as I want.
Don’t you find that different poses
evoke different memories? I wonder if the happiness evoked changes
our physiology. I’ll bet it does.
Do you have any poses that take your imagination out for recess? I’d love to hear.
Thanks to yoga for being endlessly
interesting, and thanks to you for the conversation,