There is something especially sacred about 4th Friday 5Rhythms that sets it apart from classes on other days, in other places. Maybe it’s the fact that it takes place in the evening, after dinner. The sun is lowering as I drive to the studio, and when I emerge two and a half hours later, I am surrounded in darkness and guided by moonlight. Maybe it’s because it’s the end of the work week, and what a great feeling it is to leave the office, kick off my shoes, and dance the night away, sweating away the stressors from Monday through Friday and freeing space in my heart to welcome a wonderful weekend. Or maybe it’s the physical location itself–a yoga studio tucked away in the basement of an office building, our little secret dance hangout. It’s invisible from the outside, but once you go down those steps there is a warmly lit, womb-like space with beautiful wooden floors and Sanskrit words with English translations decorating the wall trim: peace, light, breath, space. This is the spot where transformation begins, where the week ends and something new begins.
Maybe it’s because I did a powerful meditation yesterday morning on the concept of flow in the universe, about being a conduit of energy between everything and everyone, or maybe it was just the fact that I had off of work yesterday for Good Friday and spent the entire afternoon on a girls’ day out at the mall with my sister and grandmother, but I felt *charged* last night when my feet hit that studio floor, even though physically I felt somewhat drained from being on my feet all day. New students showed up; people whom I thought wouldn’t ever return came back. One of the new students had the most satisfied smile on her face the entire time, her eyes closed, her face beaming. I couldn’t help smiling in return whenever I looked at her; she looked like she was at the best concert in the world, grooving along to the music and swaying to the sounds around her.
I paired up with another new woman a few times, a Nia teacher actually (I think I may try her class!), who, I would hope as a Nia teacher, really felt the music and was such a powerful partner to work with. At one point, during a staccato number to very primal Native American drum beats, we must have looked like natives calling out to the sky or Mother Earth or dancing around a fire pit. It was so earthy, filled with passion and intensity. She flung her arms up as I threw mine down, and we alternated back and forth, a silent but dramatic language between our bodies. We were still in the rhythm of Staccato, but I’m pretty sure Chaos was banging on our rib cages, demanding to be released. Luckily the teacher’s next song was something a little less intense, because had he changed the track to something full-blown Chaos, that woman and I would have turned into banshees for sure. The fire in our eyes…it was like that transition in 28 Days Later, going from a regular human being into a red-eyed, blood-thirsty maniacal zombie.
Two hours later, during our final moments of Stillness, I found myself sitting on the floor, my hands in Vajrapadama mudra, a gesture to cultivate cosmic consciousness, believing that through connection with everything around us, we will find the trust within ourselves to do what needs to be done.
After that, my hands closed into Anjali mudra and I drew them closely to my head. As my hands approached my face, I sensed an amazing warmth coming from my third eye. Or maybe it was warmth from my energy-charged hands radiating toward my head. Either way, there was a strong attraction, and class ended with my prayer hands resting between my eyes. During the silent moment of rest between class ending and the beginning of our sharing circle, I nearly fell asleep, but I think it was just a kind of savasana, a way of absorbing everything that had just transpired and “waking me up” for the next stage of the evening.
Because once I got in my car, I was ON. I was a new Jennifer, and every song that came on the radio in that 20-minute drive home felt like it was playing specifically for me. You know that feeling–when you’re in a good mood, maybe it’s a Friday night, you just had a great date, you got a raise at work, whatever–and suddenly every song in the world is the most rockin’ beat ever, and you become enamored with whatever the DJ plays? That was me last night, blasting the stereo, bouncing in my seat to Alanis Morrissette (“You Learn”), Van Morrisson (“Brown-Eyed Girl,”), UB40 (“Can’t Help Falling in Love”), Adele (“Rolling in the Deep”), and even Pink (“F–kin’ Perfect”). I came home and just couldn’t sit still–needed.more.music. I escaped upstairs to our iPod stereo and scrolled through our music library, playing more Alanis, singing along to “The Couch” just to prove to myself that I remembered all of the disjointed lyrics, feeling totally in agreement with “One,” rocking out to “So Pure” (IT’S ALL ABOUT DANCING!!!!), and then switching over to U2 for “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” followed by “Beautiful Day,” at which point I was truly in some other zone and changed the lyrics to “Boo-tiful Day,” because I was holding my stuffed animal pug (Boo) and making him “dance” along with me.
And then I finally got tired for real. Just like that, my body said, OK, that’s enough for now. And I went downstairs, checked some e-mail, washed the dishes, foam rollered a bit to work out some muscle kinks, and went to bed at 1. Just another 4th Friday/5Rhythms kind of night.