“How do you get all those photos midair?” My mom’s voice has a touch of the incredulous and a dash of intrigue.
“It’s all about the timing.”
Sometimes I count “one, two, three” sometimes it’s “one, two, three, jump.” Everyone moves on the jump. I favor the “you count” method where the subject is forced to take the lead, and the photographer catches the moment, rather than doing the planning. Looking through all my photos, my friend’s photos, friends of friend’s photos there are a million pictures of people floating in midair, like astronauts. Like this isn’t earth. Like gravity does not exist.
These pictures have three parts: the bend, the spring and the landing. Each part stretches over several milliseconds and just in the middle of the middle of the spring there is one moment of pure, zero gravity joy. This is the goal. This is freedom.
When I took off over a year ago I flew west to go east, walked sole to sole with someone in Spain, with a little dirt in between. I tumbled head over heels East, West, North, South, South by Southwest and every iteration of the compass I can think of, but those teeny tiny moments of release only happen on the up that leaves the compass spinning. In that one second there is no north, no south, no east, no west, no south by southwest. There is only floating.
Reminiscing on these old moments takes me out of the present. I remind myself that I need to find that float moment in every second, to keep that zero gravity with me at all times as a reminder that I am not stuck. Every traveler faces this sticky feeling on coming home when it’s time to transition from that global movement to an inner motion; an inner purpose that helps to drive you through moments to replace the sense of destination that keeps you driving through miles and miles of space.
That one instant caught on camera signifies a shift from moving through space to freeing space that’s already inside. This slow unwrapping of potential energy to kinetic energy shines in the single part of a second. It’s easy to find out on a beach somewhere, or in the middle of a deserted road in the outback, but it can be elusive when we get caught up in a web of habits, repeats and codas and round after round of the patterns. It can wrap you up tight, waiting for a slow drain from a spider of a life.
Yoga allows me to find that float moment in my body, my breath and my life. There is room for space, for flex, for stretch. Our ligaments, our muscles, our tendons all can be reshaped by us if we choose to move, if we look for that zero gravity place in every second, in every breath. For me, to feel present is its own purpose, but to be able to help others find movement and presence. That’s why I’m participating in City Yoga’s Yogathon.
Please click the link below to donate. All proceeds go to St. Judes Childrens’ Research Hospital: