My crunchy spine and creaky neck forced me to confront the fact that I hadn’t been to a yoga class in months. So today, on a rainy wet Monday, with Husband on the third day of a five-day trip to Abu Dhabi, I dragged myself to Prana Power Yoga in Union Square. I’d never been there but their class schedule listed an “hour of power” class at noon, and hey, who doesn’t need an hour of power?
Let me get one thing straight: I like bikram yoga for its sheer sweaty insanity and because there’s very little of the “breathe out of the left side of your nostril and imagine lightness traveling down your spine” sort of talk. That kind of talk makes me want to giggle, wildly and inappropriately.
So when I went off to my power-hour, all I wanted was a stretched out spine and a fast sweat in between preparing for tomorrow’s teaching and picking up the apartment. What I got was—well, okay, to say it was an epiphany would be a tad strong—but what I got was a moment of clarity about the ongoing struggles I’ve been having with Caleb.
At the beginning of our hour, as we sat in the hot windowless studio, the teacher asked us to close our eyes and breathe down our spine (I felt giggles welling up), and then she asked us to visualize someone who might teach us something—could be someone we love, but maybe not, and to concentrate on that person.
Unbidden into my head came Caleb’s face when he’s angry, but this time I saw sadness in his eyes, as if he didn’t really want to be angry but couldn’t help himself. As his face floated around in my head, the yoga teacher said “think about what you might learn from this person…what you might commit to during your practice today” and bing, two words pop up: patience…compassion.
I’ve been short on both of these things lately, particularly (alas) with Caleb. On an almost daily basis, Caleb HATES me. And wants me to find the socks that he likes. He thinks I’m STUPID. But he can’t fall asleep unless I read him a bed-time story. He says BE QUIET when I ask him about his first-grade teacher. And climbs into bed every morning for a morning snuggle. He’s going to RUN AWAY because we are all so MEAN. He says I’m the best mommy in the whole world.
Living with a six-year-old exhausts me. I think it exhausts him, too.