#yogastory: Trikanasana Beside the Lazy River

I’ll bet after you read “beside the lazy river” you thought about a beautiful river winding through a deep green forest, deer bending to drink from the cool water, fish rising slowly to the surface. Mmm, that would be a lovely place to feel inspired to Triangle. But despite living in a state known for its gorgeous rivers, and despite a penchant for public yoga, that was not at all the case.

Imagine, instead, a public pool filled with hundreds of small children and gropey teenagers coasting by around a mechanically-propelled “lazy river” like a frantic floating circus of limbs and inner tubes. Somewhere in there was my son, who had suddenly disappeared when he saw me give him the “it’s-time-to-leave-wave.”  As I stood beside the water resisting the urge to dive in and snatch him, I felt a wave of mean frustration start to rise.

And do you think I did a Triangle right then and there? No way, man. Triangle in a bikini right next to the edge of crowded public pool? I’m not that brave. (Though, in retrospect, he might have leapt from the pool in embarrassment.)

Actually, something smaller but more surprising happened. All of a sudden, I heard this going through my mind:  Triangle Pose, Trikanasana. Feet together. Arms over the head sideways. Right leg steps to the right – a big step – four feet minimum. Immediately bring your arms down parallel to the floor, palms facing down.

Oh my word – I was reciting evolation dialogue to calm myself! And not just any of the dialogue, but the one that I’d had the most trouble memorizing.

As I stood there going through the pose in my mind (and, I’m sure, looking like I was talking to myself), I was transported back to our practice sessions in training. I remembered the people I had been with, the cool grass we had sat in, and the sound of the river – the real river – going by us. And this was all much better than my usual mantra of “Be. Calm. Be. calm. Be calm. Becalm. Becalm! BECALM!” which doesn’t usually serve me very well.

After all of this, I realized I was actually calm….And that my son had escaped through the other exit of the pool and was running the other direction. That’s when I started on Tuladandasana. (Who says kids make it hard to memorize?)