One of the things I love most about starting a new job or being in a new place is the awareness of my body orienting itself to a new space. I love that at the coffeeshop I know what is within arm’s reach of the espresso machine, and that I always reach for the large lids even though I know I can’t get them. I love that the small fridge is just about the length of my leg, and that I can hold it open with my up-turned toes or my inner thigh. I love learning the places where I can stretch – the racks above the door at just the right height for my shoulders, bracing my feet on the sink supports and leaning waaaay back to stretch out my lower back. I love knowing which doors will close with the bump of my hip, and which will take a kick (as the middle drawer of the black cabinets did).
It’s so cliche to say that doing yoga is a centering exercise – that it allows you to concentrate on your body, on the movement of your muscles, and on your breathing at the exclusion of everything else – but it’s so true. For a long time my awareness of my body has been defined by the way my body intertwined with my lover’s – but moving through the poses, feeling the pull in the back of my thighs, feeling the ache in my arms – I am learning my body again, on its own, divorced from the act of love, or these other defining spaces. It’s pretty incredible.