more than expected

Her hands slipped on the mat underneath them and she struggled to replace them, cursing silently. How is it that no one else in the class seemed to be constantly fighting to keep their hands in one place? This is a hot yoga class so their hands must be just as slippery as hers. Maybe she just sweat more than other people.

As the class continued to flow, Emma continued to wonder at how she could struggle with basic poses while everyone around her seemed so full of grace and balance. She fell out of warrior two one minute and triangle the next. Emma expected to fall out of the harder balances like half-moon that required supporting her weight on one leg and one hand while rotating to one side. But not these foundation poses, ones that required keeping both feet on the ground. All she wanted to do was finish the stupid class and leave.

Finally, the still instructor told them all to lay on their backs for the final pose. It was resting pose called savasana. All Emma had to do was lay on her back with her arms out to her sides and her feet flopping open. That she knew she could do. She laid there blissfully, eyes closed, and melted into the ground beneath her. Then the instructor passed by her, stopped, and pressed her shoulders further onto the ground. Ugh she couldn't even do the resting pose properly. 

Emma had no intention of returning the next week. 

She did anyways.

And the week after that.
And the one after that one, too.

Soon Emma was a regular in the classes. She fell out of warrior two occasionally but the falls were becoming less and less frequent. Emma adored the way she felt after class: strong, beautiful, tall. Sure, she struggled more than most and still didn't have anything akin to balance. But that was becoming less and less disconcerting. 

She found herself volunteering for more at the office, helping co-workers and actually volunteering for projects that sounded interesting to her instead of sitting silently for fear of being judged by coworkers. She tried new foods, spoke her mind more frequently, and talked more readily to strangers.

On a run through the neighborhood next to hers, Emma say a boy of about 10 playing basketball. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon so that was nothing unusual. He shot the ball at the hoop and Emma watched as it bounced off the backboard and rolled towards her. She picked up her pace, hoping to stop the ball before it rolled into the street. This was sure to be a disaster--she always missed everything kicked at her and had no hope of actually throwing the ball back to the boy since she probably couldn't even hit the broad side of a barn with it. But she tried anyways. 

Emma stopped the ball with her right foot on the first try. She bent, picked it up, and threw it back to the boy in a perfect, neat arc that ended right in his hands. This was the second time in as many days that she'd easily caught and thrown an item that actually ended up where she wanted it to.

He thanked her and she continued her run.

Two miles later something dawned on her.

Maybe, just maybe, all those yoga classes were giving her more than just a good workout.
Maybe they were giving her balance.
Maybe they were giving her strength.
Maybe they were giving her focus.
Maybe they were giving her drive.

Maybe, just maybe, they were giving her a lot more than she had expected.

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