I recently returned to teaching Zumba on Tuesdays at noon. That in itself was wonderful, but I was equally excited to get back to taking slow flow yoga that immediately follows my class (taught by the awesome Emily of Omily Yoga). I love the sweet mix of cardio with the calming, stretchy goodness of yoga.
Anyway, toward the end of class, Emily had us practice hanumanasana (or just hanuman), aka a split. Back when I used to do gymnastics, splits were the bane of my existence because it seemed like no matter how much I practiced, I could never fully get into the pose. I remember practicing in my living room - I’d start by kicking up into a handstand and then using the momentum of my legs coming down to get into a split as much as possible (that was not at all a safe method). Once or twice I did manage to hold a split for…a split second. I never got it when I did cheerleading or dance troupe. After high school I had no real need to be able to do one so I stopped trying.
This isn’t the point where I’m going to say that I have finally mastered the split. I don’t think I’m ever going to. But while practicing hanuman today (safely, with the support of blocks), I had a sense of…peace, I guess you could say, that I hadn’t experienced before. Maybe because I was focused on maintaining an even breath, and not straining to push myself down. Maybe because stretching my psoas muscles feels really good now that I’m older, particularly after Zumba or after sitting all day at a desk. Maybe because there was no longer any pressure to do the damn thing. It’s kind of weird to have such a moment of peace and clarity while doing something like a split, but for me it was the highlight of today’s class. I’m going to make a goal of practicing hanuman twice a week, or at least on the days when I teach. Who knows, maybe now that it isn’t an end goal, the split may come more easily.
*this title is overly dramatic but I was originally going to use splits-ville, so…yea.
…when all I wanted to do was lounge in my pajamas while eating pistachio ice cream and watching Parks & Rec but instead am meeting up with Vince and his coworkers because in a momentary lapse of judgement I agreed to trek to Flushing to go to some huge mall for Chinese food.