I ascended the stairs of the gym with my hood up and eyes down, not wanting to socialize. I retrieved the key from the wall in the office and moved down the short hallway to the Pilates studio. The lock clicked and the door opened only a warm, dark, and quiet studio with five Reformers waiting on the other side. Closing the door behind me I felt my body relax immediately. The studio is always a comforting space and I needed it tonight.
My past several weeks had become chaotic and tiring... an endless stream of issues, activities, projects, stress, drama and physically debilitating workouts and teaching sessions. My mind and body were exhausted. The constant flood of brooding thoughts, the to-do lists, and the noise that filled my head was overwhelming. I needed to hit my reset button. So here I was. My fingers found the dimmer switch on the wall and brought the lights down to a very dim flicker and crossed the room.
Preferring ear buds to overhead music, I turned on my iPod and the sounds of SOJA flooded my senses. I raised up on my toes and stretched my arms over my head. In the slight movement, every muscle protested harshly. Laying on my back on the middle machine I began to stretch, keeping the room dark and my eyes closed. In a few short minutes my body was warm, my breath was deliberate, and my tight muscles were finally relenting to the movement.
I spent nearly 40 minutes focusing on every muscle in my body, letting my mind empty focused on just the task at hand. By the time I finished, my body felt new again and the noise that had been plaguing me had not entirely gone away, but it had settled into a quiet murmur in the background. Even breathing seemed easier. Leaving the studio, the view surprised me. It was as if the sun had risen while I was inside. Light flooded the parking lot, and I could see where the sun had broken through the clouds. The storm clouds that accompanied me to the studio an hour before had lifted at the horizon. And though dark clouds still swarmed, there was a break in the storm and the light from the sun was all that I could see.