In my neck of the woods, trees twist up through rock. Canadian Shield is the name of the rock that is our foundation as far as you can see. In some areas we’ve got soil – our cities are as pretty and tame that way as any other – but outside the city things get wilder. Off the highway, winding gravel roads lead to lakes surrounded by masses of grey and pink rock. It’s a miracle that anything grows on it.
But miracles happen. Lichen grows, moss grows, ferns grow, all of them creating the tiniest cracks in the rock. At some point, red pine and cedar find those cracks, attempt a few roots, and twist their way sunward. I was at one of these lakes this weekend, doing yoga on a platform about 15 feet above blue waves and whitecaps.
It occurs to me during practice that I am not so different than one of our twisted trees.
With every Downward Facing Dog my own roots sink into the rock. (I groan while this is happening. The trees do not, as far as I know.) With every instruction to rotate my shoulders and thighs I feel as though I am untwisting my way sunward. Every bit of it is working against the hard-as-Canadian-Shield habits my body has acquired over a lifetime.
There is nothing pretty or tame about my yoga.This body grunts and sighs with each shift, all the while shifting from tree-trunk stiffness to something greener and leafier.
I am a Canadian Shield kind of beautiful. So’s my yoga.
What kind of beautiful are you?
Thanks to the living, breathing world out there for inspiring us. Thanks to yoga for showing me who I am, and thanks to you for the conversation,
Kristin Shepherd is a chiropractor, actor, and speaker (about All Things Wonderful) in North Bay, Ontario. Join her on Facebook at Dr.Kristin Shepherd, on the web at kristinshepherd.ca, and on Twitter at kristinwonders.