Why I Belong

Submitted by Jane Hillson Aiello  /  February 11, 2020

Free Movement, Meditation and Writing Class presented by Mayu.  You had me at *free*, but the other three components cemented the deal.  In exchange for taking this class, all I would be asked to do is complete a short critique with my impressions of the teacher and class.  What a fantastic idea!  Before Mayu adds a new teacher to their schedule they solicit feedback.  In the restaurant industry this is called a ‘stage’.  Pronounced stahge – unlike the platform in front of an audience.

I enjoyed this class.  The teacher set the room up with the mats facing each other.  I prefer to do yoga in a room without mirrors.  It enables me to let go of the external validation of how I look.  Instead I use my body awareness to gauge where I am, and if any adjustment is needed.  After some intention setting and warm-ups to the spine, we moved into a very gentle yoga practice.  There were elements of Kundalini, and I was grateful to learn that this discipline of yoga is not just the hard breathing, almost forceful event I had previously experienced.   One of the pranas (breathwork) we practiced is supposed to lower cortisol levels; I will be incorporating this into my daily practice.

After our flow, we moved into a nice long savasana.  Then we sat on our zafus and enjoyed a guided meditation.  I was simultaneously relaxed and invigorated!  Time now for a short free-write.  I am familiar with this writing modality.  Just take your pen, press it to the paper and go!  No editing, no scratching out, no self-doubts.  Just write, write, write.  Here is a portion of what came to me:

            The ocean.  Deep blue, sometime turquoise.  The soft roar of Neptune whispering to the shore.  This is the ocean, the sea.  The connective tissue that spans the continents.  An expanse so vast one can barely swim the Hellespont like Leander or Lord Byron.    

But this writing is not of great consequence.  It is the impetus.  A jumping-off point to continue the flow of creative juice that has been stirred through a mind-body practice.  I thank the guest teacher and help to put the room back in order.  Then I meander to the great room of Mayu, a well-lit calm space with a variety of soft and hard seating.  I fill out the evaluation, all positive, of course!  And then I settle into a chair, with a cup of tea and a poetry book I plucked from the Mayu library.

I read a few short poems and settle in to write a one of my own.  I am impelled to create.  My body is relaxed.  My mind is stimulated.  My spirit is rejuvenated.  I ask you, where else can one go in the heart of the city and gain so much in so little time?

This is one of the many reasons I belong to Mayu.  I invite you to find your own motive for joining this sanctuary in the city.