February 27, 2014

Pushing for that Asana Electric. ~ Xan Roberti


While the high school classroom I teach in may be 25 x 25 feet, the one where I learn my lessons is five and a half by two feet. 

It seems the most important lessons have presented themselves to me on my yoga mat.

One obstacle I’ve always struggled with is my romantic life. Maybe I should clarify that. I’ve never struggled with romance—but I’ve always struggled with partnership. As an extrovert who’s dipped into a number of creative communities, I’ve been blessed with the ease of meeting new men. But none have stuck longer than a year.

Each new man seems to glow with Midas’ touch. Each new man seems electric. Once the suite of commonalities rises, I envision our shared future for long enough to build a castle in the sky. Then, when it doesn’t look or feel like that imagined truth, I freak out and leave.

How does this relate to yoga? Well, in the past few years my practice has grown more active and more frequent, putting me in the studio two to four times a week.

On my mat I feel strong, connected and calm.

But I recently injured my shoulder and with a long bout of this winter flu, I didn’t make it to my mat once in the month of January. It drove me nuts.

To my surprise, when I finally unrolled my mat in early February, it was torture. In chair pose, I had to count my breaths to determine when it would end. Vertical splits saw my legs shaking like a coin-operated bed in a cheesy hotel room. In downward dog, the blood rushed into my face and I could feel it pulsing under my eyes. I expected it to be tough to dive back in, but not this tough. I prayed for savasana. And when my prayers were answered something shifted.

As an avid practitioner, my challenges have been exciting and to a degree, superficial. It is indeed commendable to seek out advanced poses, new inversions and strength building sequences. But that wasn’t why I went in the first place.

I went to stretch out my heart.

Each time I try to open it, to meet a new (right) man, I am pushing for that asana electric. Yoga has taught me to be present, to be patient, to be consistent. And these are all the things I need, but forget I have, in relationships. The the whirlwind of romance appears, at times, to outweigh the constancy of authentic connection. But that’s not why I keep trying.

Taking a hiatus from my mat made me realize it’s actually hardest when it’s new. The idea of love is alluring. But it’s an idea. Anything new or even kind of new is exciting. But it’s not real until you’ve actually agreed to keep coming back.

Love is one of the biggest risks we take and it requires work.


Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Editorial Assistant: Yaisa Nio / Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Pixabay / David Mark

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