On a Friday in March, 2020, the YMCA was rather quiet. There was a feeling of uncertainty as my class participants filed into the yoga studio. There were fewer participants than usual, and before class we quietly discussed what was happening in the world, and wondered aloud what might soon happen. At the end of class, I think many of us sensed a finality. The following week brought changes we could hardly bring ourselves to imagine the week before.
I've written this piece in the form of a Vinyasa; what movement to breath is called in the practice of yoga.
On that day, was there a tingle, a shiver, a tremor,
while we practiced movement with breath?
I spaced them far apart, as in the coming normal,
feeling as if rushing towards something, as it rushed towards us.
Encouraging their full, deep breaths, while the irony of
no longer quite trusting the air we breathed began to dawn.
Guiding them through poses while thoughts crystallized,
reality becoming evident.
At the end, bringing them to rest in savasana, corpse pose,
trusting it wasn’t a grim pandemic prediction.
Experiencing unity, one last last time,
blinking tiny, prickling tears, as I offered namaste to those dear ones.
My vinyasa, movement with breath, honoring theirs.