"Change."

"Stretch-forward-reach-forward-get-the-body-down-CHANGE!"

I know the hot yoga dialogue well and often recite it in my head while practicing. Sometimes with the teacher. Sometimes independent of the teacher - if they aren't using the dialogue.

But they always get that last word the same.

"Change."

It's meant to tell us, "The posture is over. You get a brief few seconds before torturing yourself in some of the posture with discomfort."

But a few weeks ago, as I was practicing in a silent one hour class (meaning we do the entire 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises that normally take 90 minutes in 60 minutes, and without any teacher instruction but still in sync), one time when the teacher said, "Change", I felt my body open up.

Well, to be more accurate... I felt something make a popping sound in the back of my leg - which didn't hurt - but it it released a sensation of "openness" right above the backside of my right knee.

Ligaments or a muscle tendon moving? Maybe.

But then I felt light-headed and suddenly spacey. Dizzy, a little. A sensation of flu-like chills pressed down on the top of my head and made their way into my nose and throat. And across my shoulders.

Flu aches.

"That certainly is a 'change'," I thought to myself as I sat down on my knees on my mat, trying to see if I needed just a rest and could get back up and finish the rest of the standing series.

I sat through a few postures thinking about the flu sensations.

I wondered if I'd just opened up my realization that I was coming down with the flu - a flu that had been settling into my body for a few days and I just realized it...

I wondered if, instead, it was just a momentary release of energy built up... And it was coming out - as it often does - as an energetic flu. One that would only be for a few hours, as the body had an opportunity and heal the areas it had released from... And scab them over.

"That 'change' command isn't just about moving from one posture to another," I thought. "It's a coaching to my entire psyche to evolve. Posture by posture. Breath by breath."

My brain spun, and I moved onto my back to rest. Doing my best to keep my eyes open. Breathing in and out slowly. Thinking about how much I am changing. Mostly in my thinking, and how I carry myself lately. 

Blockages being removed. Moving past discomfort. Becoming more focused and direct. Leaving a space of, "But this is how I've always moved through life."

There's been a great diluting of any patience these days. In a good way. A productive way. A bolder way. There's more confidence. Less time for dealing with the issues and fears of others in a way that takes it's toll on my energy. There's more directness in my voice. Less passive accommodation. Less, "Yeah. We could do that," and then being quietly frustrated or angry. And more "Let's do this, because I want this and you want that." 

And I'm not saying that my yoga practice is the reason for all of this. But it is a tool in my toolkit for helping me understand the direction in which I go in life. One of many tools that facilitate change.