"Breath through it....work through it..." Sandy's words during her ritualistic Sunday morning class remind us that through it all we must always work through it...breath through it....
We say it in class all the time, you have to touch the pain in order to make the decision, do you back off or do you work through it. It seems contrary but the truth is, pain is a huge part of yoga. During a ninety minute class it is normal to feel. Yes, that's right it is normal to FEEL. We feel tremendous stretching pain, sometimes sharp ouch, don't want to go there pain, sometimes it's emotional pain that is being released during one of those huge hip openers. No matter what it is, the pain we feel as yoga practioners, as humans, is very real....it's what we do with it that matters.
So where have I been. Ummm..in pain, no I kid. I haven't been writing because to be honest I want what I teach to be authentic, I want to practice what I preach, so I had to wrap my head around all the new things in my life, I had to learn from them, I had to open up to them, so that I could share my insights with you as honestly and truly as I feel them.
The past six months have been a whirl wind. I became a yoga teacher, fell into a new pattern of living, I lost my grandfather, I was reminded of the power of family, I got ENGAGED and learned that to be completely open to someone else, to except others as family as equals, as best friends means accepting that you are just as worthy of love. I have had some serious, sciatic, hip, feet and ankle pain, I have cried a fair amount, I have laughed a whole lot more than I have cried, I have felt lonely and I have felt connected in ways that I couldn't dream possible. Oh, and did I mention tired! I can't believe all of this has happened in such a short amount of time. So the question then becomes what happens to the girl who is changing rapidly, finding herself and losing herself at the same time. I think for me I get a bit overwhelmed and it comes out as a self doubt. I end up doubting myself, my decisions, my relationships (thankfully not the one with the man who put the ring on my finger...that man is my rock!) I get overwhelmed and I begin to put my self down. I know I have written about it before but it's the one thing that pops up over and over again and I continue to learn more and more about myself each and every time.
So for the past few months, I have been almost afraid to sit down and write, the same time I write this blog, I am trying to finish up a book I have been working on for quite some time, and Alex keeps reminding me, "babe, why don't you go write today?" "I've got nothing to say" is my answer. The truth is, I didn't feel authentic. I want my words, my work to help others. I want to help other's see the values and the beauty within themselves, but I also want to be able to say I do the same. So I haven't written because I have been having a hard time finding the value and the beauty within myself. But I think that is what makes me authentic, and my words have meaning. Buddha says suffering is part of life. Bikram says his yoga is his torture chamber, in order to truly see ourselves and appreciate the goodness in our lives it is true that we do have to touch the pain. So I've been working through it breathing through it. In the most literal sense, I haven't been able to do Trikonasana for months, my hamstrings and hips have been hurting and I just couldn't get my hips low enough into the posture. I couldn't let myself get hung up on it. Every day I approached the posture with integrity and patience and yesterday, I let go just a little bit, let go of the pain, the fear and bam there it was Triangle. In the more emotional sense. I have been tough on myself, not wanting to accept that bodies change, people change, relationships change but life can grow out of them and it all becomes a journey towards finding that moment of calm. Today, I did not wake up and say to myself "you are beautiful, you are perfect time to go write" I told myself to let go just a little bit. Let go of the fear of becoming someone new. Each day we change right? We can count on that! We can count our breath getting us through the change and then we can accept what is new. Learning to love yourself means accepting that change is inevitable but we can grow with it, learn from it rather than resist it. There is this little poster floating around face book right now it says "Bikram yoga is the first time you start loving yourself, because it's the first time you start seeing yourself" There is so much truth in that. For ninety minutes a day you are faced with the stillness of your mind. Each posture has the power to open you up into seeing your capabilities, possibilities. Of course, for a long time, we see the flaws, but looking past that how can we grow stronger from them. How do our flaws become our capabilities? By working through them, breathing through it, relaxing into it and letting go of the fear.
So today, my yoga is spending the day by myself, in my quiet little house, with my two dogs and my little white mac book. Letting go of the fear that I will not be able to accomplish all of the things in my life that I want, but rather digging deep and finding the strength to take steps towards my goal. In a Yoga class, we do not do yoga, there is no goal, it's just the journey. Each day I am excited to go on my yoga journey, to see what my body is able to do, but the truth is, the real yoga begins outside of the room. We learn how to breath while being stretched to our limits in the room, so that when in the real world, when we are being pulled up, down, left and right, with out a clear answer as where to really go, we know that we will make the best decision for ourselves at that moment, with no regrets or attachments, but rather excitement to see the capabilities of our bodies, minds and spirits.
Namaste...so much love to you all