As a toddler I used to sleep with my butt up in the air, like an incomplete child’s pose. I don’t know how or why I found that comfortable, but today in class we came to this position with our heads rooted straight down to the floor and the teacher explained that it is a strong and holy Asana. In this shape, we form a direct connection from our head to roots. I’m sure I didn’t make that leap as a baby, but I have no trouble reaching the shape today. I felt its echo outside in the world after class, as if my head has been empowered to take on a life of its own, and is choosing to travel north. This torqued shape actually made me feel like I was rooted while reaching up, in a very connected way.The echo or the witness of the class turned into my day’s mantra: Strength. Strength. Strength. But understand this strength isn’t of a gym rat or weight-lifter. It’s the strength of a dancer to form a perfectly straight line, or a gymnast on a balance beam. I feel strong like a turbine slicing through, rather than being knocked down by, the night's aggressive winds.
First Anya Class: Finding My Strength
The word I chose to meditate on was strength and boy did I need it. Through many rounds of inversions I felt dizzy and I had to take frequent breaks, heading into the familiar territory of child’s pose. It wasn't until we played with the “geography of the feet”--rocking from the outsides to inner blades of our feet--that I found my stride. On the subway home I continued fidgeting there, finding my centerline and balance on each foot.
About the Author: Laura Norkin
Laura Norkin lives in Brooklyn and works as a freelance writer and editor, while making the most of her Prospect Park proximity and access to Studio Anya’s classes. A Takoma Park, Maryland (let’s just say DC) native, she is still adapting to the ways of New York City. For example, people here “barbecue” instead of “cook out,” and consider her home town to be “The South.” She has written and edited for a variety of lifestyle publications and is planning a journey-by-bus through South America with her husband, with whom she enjoys eating oysters, watching HBO, and other simple pleasures of the honeymoon phase. Her older brother, an Iron Man, got 100% of the family’s athletic genes, so in her Body Banter blog, Laura will explore the trials and tribulations of trying to cure herself of what can only be described as an aggressively docile demeanor.