Yoga Practice With Some Restraints

Yoga_restraint

It's happened a couple of times at the yoga studio where someone will tell me that they enjoy reading my blog.  I always react the same way - surprised and flattered.  This is genuine shock because I don't update my blog as much as I used to but I guess it's still out there and it makes me happy that people are taking the time out to read a post or two and find something to relate to, regardless of how old it might be.

Embracing vulnerabilities...working with your handicaps - it seems like this has been an ongoing theme that keeps popping up in different places this past week for me.

I had my physical last week. I brought up my lower back issues with my doctor.  It stiffens up if I'm still for a long time or walking really slow for a while - this always happens when I go to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It gets especially bad in the middle of night. I could be laying on my back and if my body turns, the pain wakes me up, and it is painful! Waking up is just bad but once I move around and exaggerate my hips when I walk, things loosen up and I feel better.  I have to be mindful going into Savasana at the end of a yoga class because if I’m laying flat for too long, it’s gonna HURT when it comes time to come out of it.

I had x-rays done and learned that I have arthritis from my L4 to S1 which is pretty much the end of my spine to my sacrum, lovely.  I posted this news on Facebook and some people responded like I just announced my death sentence LOL! I'm still doing yoga and exercising and I'm still doing yoga teacher training this Fall.   Nothing is changing that.

The only thing I can really do to relieve myself of this pain is to build my core strength and drop some weight. Easy right?   Not when you hate core work as much as I DO!  I brought this on myself.  I sometimes cheat. I don't "engage my core" as much as I should, I also don't move as much once I'm off the mat - that's the hard part about working from home.  You get your workout in the AM, and then the rest of the day you're on the couch with your laptop, you may occasionally switch to your desk, or sit on the floor using the coffee table, but that't it. So I gotta make a new plan to add more movement to my daily routine.

I'm just glad I don't need to make any changes to my practice. I've already been mindful of my twisting because sometimes I feel like there's a brake keeping me from twisting further, especially if I'm twisting to the right in Triangle Pose (Trikonasana).  I love using a block, I love using a strap, I hate using my core - so that's what I need to do more of! I refuse to let my back get any worse.  I gotta learn to love core or just not hate it so much.  There's always something new to pay attention to.

Love and Acceptance In Your Forties

I wrote this in my private journal yesterday afternoon and felt compelled to share it here in case it might bring comfort, hope, reassurance to someone who is currently in a dark place hoping to get out of it.  Maybe it won't take you as long. It's never too late.

  Accept_forties

It took a really long time to get to this point, most of my teens and twenties, part of my thirties living like this. For many, many years, I hated who I was. I was so insecure, so unhappy. I carried so much anger and sadness. That's what initially drew me to Yoga, hoping it will change me and it did but it didn't come quickly.  It wasn't until I got to my 40s to feel comfortable in my skin - accept every extra pound, every dimple, every scar. To really get to know who I am, what I am made of, and who I am capable of being.  I am strong, beautiful, smart, witty, funny, weird, and open. My silence just means I'm observing, listening, taking it all in. I don't need the attention, I know where my support comes from. We go through the shit we go through so we can look back and at it and say "Oh....that's why." There's something to gain from everything.  I'm still getting used to not being angry or sad all the time. Instead, I'm replacing that energy with yoga and working out - which has saved my life, and saved me from more unnecessary pain. It's opened new opportunities to experience, new people to meet.  I write this now with a heart full of contentment, compassion and acceptance of the person I've become. Looking back at who I used to be with some regret that I let that person carry on that way for so long. Don't worry about the time wasted, I'm looking forward to what the next part of my life has in store - older, wiser, confident, loved.