How to ground yourself — about the International Yoga Day

Is everyday an International Day of Something? FB keeps reminding me who should I say congrats and hello to, and sometimes surprises me with celebrations I didn’t even know existed. Today they’re prompting a reaction asking which is my favorite position… as if I had an easy relationship with yoga and could just explain just like that...

The first time I tried was 14 (!!!) years ago in Mexico City. I had just moved there and was in the middle of that haze of trying to find new friends, make my job work for me, preparing a wedding while keeping everything in order back home. It all felt… messy. So I followed somebody’s advice and ended up at a Buddhist center. I remember mostly three things: 1) everyone was dressed in white, as white as the walls… I felt strange in my colorful outfit. 2) Everybody seemed to be dead serious about it but the instructor, who was a calm lady that usually taught the yoga for children class but was there in a substitution. 3) At the end of the session, while lying on my back, I started to cry in silence. At some point in the class, listening to her silky voice, turning myself outside in, trying to find my balance, I felt a crack in my head — and then the crying. It was like if by finding a good position for my body I gave it permission to do what it needed: cry all the tension out.

It didn’t last long — next class I was there, the original teacher was there and it was dead serious, like a competition. I felt clumsy, out of place, not happy. No tears. So I didn’t go back.

And from then on I have been trying in different studios, different cities, different approaches — specially in those moments in life where I needed not only to straighten my spine, but also my thoughts. Weeks ago, I started going to a new studio in my new town. “If we’re all new…”, I imagined. It’s difficult to find something that is yours when you move. I’d tried a gym. I’m not a gym animal. I’d tried the movie theaters. I know them all by now. But I thought it was good to have some human contact — that thing that you don’t get when you work from home.

And so I inscribed for a week try-out at YogaGround and I stayed. It hadn’t even been a week but I was sure that I wanted to be there, with those people, inside those gray and white walls and those statements. “Stay grounded”, reads all around. I thought about it several times: grounded as in grounded because you did something wrong? or grounded as in close to the ground?

In these last few weeks I have not learned much: I’m still clumsy, my shoulders continue to be close to my ears and I don’t tuck my belly enough. But I’ve learned a couple of good things: to stay firm on my thumbs and heels, feeling the weight of my body down to the earth. To breath, deep, slow, fully, again.

So maybe my favorite yoga position now is grounded: as in this is the ground where I want to stand by now.