Last week I posted about getting back in the flow of the universe, which for me is evident when I start experience a lot of coincidences/moments of synchronicity. The three I mentioned were all positive moments, like dreaming about iced coffee and then it manifesting in real life on my desk at work. Another uplifting moment of feeling “plugged in” happened this weekend, starting when my friend Carrol’s e-mail went haywire and sent out a bunch of old messages, so that on Friday night I opened my inbox and found an e-mail from her dated October 2010. I was perplexed but shrugged it off as an accident…and then the very next morning, Carrol calls me and asks if we can get together, because she has a gift for me!

The gift was awesome–it was a metal spiral pendant Carrol bought at Kripalu during her recent R&R. It’s made by Allison ( from the KDZ drum ensemble at Kripalu, so Carrol noted that it’s nice to wear something made from the hands that play a djembe all day. The sounds of a drumbeat will play along with our heartbeats whenever we wear our pendants!

The next moment of synchronicity happened as Carrol and I were chatting about her training as an art therapist. I was trying to describe to her a drawing that I had made at the end of my yoga teacher training (the result of being asked “Draw what your future looks like”), when suddenly it dawned on me that one of the recurring elements of the artwork were spirals. As soon as I got home, I texted Carrol a photo of a portion of my drawing and the spiral pendant she had just brought home from Kripalu for me.

2006 Kripalu drawing with 2011 pendant from Kripalu.

It’s really wild when stuff like that happens, but not all synchronicities are necessarily ones that you want to acknowledge. For example, when I wake up on Thursday and my hip feels weird and wonky, I do not want to come into work, pass my coworker’s computer, and see a medical photo of a torn hip labrum displayed all big-ass on her monitor for an assignment she was working on. It could have stopped there, but no! Then I find out this particular coworker’s brother is having hip surgery the following week for his busted cartilage. And then–oh yeah, there’s more!–I read the latest posting from The Happiness Project blog on my Google Reader, and it’s an interview with author Meghan O’Rourke. What’s a simple activity that consistently makes you happier?, the interviewer asks. “Taking a walk,” Meghan replies. “I used to run a lot, and that always made me happier (even if I was unhappy lacing up my shoes to do it). But I tore the cartilage in my right hip and need surgery – so I can’t run anymore.” Womp-womp. So it didn’t surprise me later that night when, during hot yoga class, the teacher decides to lead us through upavistha konasana, which, after pigeon, is one of the most painful and nearly impossible poses for me to do with my hip issues.

What made this super-weird was that, on top of all the hip stuff I had been encountering earlier in the day, I had just been thinking to myself, “Man, I’m so glad the teacher never does upavistha konasana in class!” Because seriously, for the past nine months I’ve been taking her class, never–NEVER!–has she done this pose. We’ve done prasarita padottanasana (difficult, but easier than sitting poses)…

…but never upavistha konasana. ::sigh:: Oh, synchronicity, you’re not all smiles and rainbows all of the time, are you?!

I struggled during the pose. I used to be able to flatten my chest to the ground, stick my arms out in front of me, and slide through a straddle position, ending with my legs straight out behind me. Now I was barely able to lean forward. Sometimes I like that it’s a hot yoga class I go to, so when I feel my lips start to tremble I can grab my hand towel and wipe the tears sweat from my eyes. After what felt like 20 minutes in the pose, the teacher guided us into the next pose.

Pigeon, of course.

I was thisclose to leaving the studio for a crying bathroom break. I have struggled many times in class but never to the point where I used the bathroom as an escape. I thought back to Kripalu and the whole Breathe-Relax-Feel-Watch-Allow prescription, and here I was, totally attempting to bail out of the Watch and Allow elements. So I stayed, lying on my back for my substitute pose for pigeon, draping my ankle over the other bent knee and drawing the legs toward the chest. I took deep belly breaths, focusing all of my efforts on inhaling and exhaling, trying not to let the mind take over. Living in the moment, even if the present is an uncomfortable asana that punctuates a day full of sucky synchronicity.