From our friends in Italy: Some innovative ideas for an indoor exercise routine 🙂
The Time the Universe Spoke to Me
So, I wanted to tell you a story about my recent visit to Costa Rica where I went for my birthday in January. My great friend Paola Piglia has a house there in the foothills of the volcano Poas. She knows that I am an aspiring yoga practitioner and meditator, emphasis on “aspiring” as I cannot say that I have anything close to a regular practice. I appreciate the benefits of yoga and meditation, but have yet to take the deep dive. In any case, for my birthday she took me to the Harmony Hotel in Nosara which is a sustainable hotel in a remote and beautiful spot on the Pacific Ocean which offers a full schedule of yoga and a restoration spa. On our second day there, we decided to go to a “Breathwork” class with Alix at noon just to see what it was like. Both of us had only a vague idea of what that meant more than the usual “focus on your breath, find your breath” stuff of meditation. We lay on our backs on comfortable cushions while Alix guided us in a regular breathing pattern. I followed her instructions and felt myself get into it. About thirty minutes into the practice, she came by, lifted my feet, jiggled, and pulled and as she did I felt an immense rush, as if suddenly my body had rid itself of all negative energy and exchanged it for another. I felt, to paraphrase, Kundera, an incredible lightness of being. Suddenly, I heard myself laughing hysterically which quickly dissolved into sobbing uncontrollably, and then back to laughter, then sobbing. This went back and forth a few times. Alix came over to me and asked if I was alright, said not to worry, and that the tingling I was feeling in my arms happened sometimes. I hadn’t realized until then that my arms were indeed tingling quite dramatically. I was pretty scared at this point. I have had some experience with drugs, quite a lot as a youth, and there was a similar quality to what I was feeling, but at the same time it was completely different. It was unlike anything I had ever felt before. Whatever was happening, I was definitely in some kind of altered state, and then the universe started speaking to me.
When I tell this story my family laughs at me and that is fine but it happened. And this is what the universe said: “I know you’ve been very worried lately about the state of the world and all the negative things that are happening, but I am here to assure you that yes, there is a lot of bad out there, but the universe is tipped toward joy.” I did and didn’t actually hear a voice. It spoke through the incredibly green leaves of the trees and plants surrounding the yoga studio. The universe then took me around (virtually) to everyone else in the yoga space (about 15 people) so that I could share my compassion with them, but then the universe brought me back to myself lying on the cushions and told me that showing compassion for others was all well and good, but I really needed to figure out how to show myself compassion. I didn’t think I could take much more of the universe (I was actually quite freaked out), so I did everything I could (mostly by moving my body) to bring myself back to the universe in which the universe didn’t speak to me. Ever since then, and especially now as we head into this pandemic, I have been trying as hard as I can to hang onto the idea that the universe is tipped toward joy.