15 November, 2012


Today was Gentle Yoga with Jessica.

It was one of those classes, from start to finish, perfect.

We started class each saying something that we are struggling with, and something that motivates us. It was a small class. Only about 12 people. We had lots of space. It felt intimate, and was interesting to hear the things people said around the room. Deep, honest sharing.

I'm struggling with the pain in various parts of my body. At most recent count, it goes as follows:

Old Stuff: shoulder, hips, groin, Achilles tendon
New Stuff: wrists, palms
New Old Stuff: knees

It all hurts. Some of it feels like injury. Some feels like ache. Some feels like inflammation. And some days are better or worse than others. The struggle I have is integrating my desire to practice and get the emotional and physical benefits, while not doing harm to myself. At the same time, I want to do all this without feeling badly about myself, and rejecting or resenting my body.

We did Moon Salutations today. Instead of jumping forward and backward into our Downward Dog, we took a long stride forward into a Runners' Lunge, and then brought the other foot forward. It was exactly like we did on the retreat in Italy when Sue was teaching. That was how she did her Chaturangas. And when Jessica had us doing this, suddenly, I was transported by this flow back to that time, that place, in the studio where we practiced. I closed my eyes, and I saw Sue. I could hear her voice. I could feel Lola off to my right. And I could feel Linda, Mary, and Joanna off to my left. I can still feel and remember every minute detail of the room... of the entire trip. And this flow took me back there, and I started to feel super-emotional.

I am not sure I really comprehend fully what that retreat did to me. But I think it shifted something in me. I don't know that I feel better, necessarily, right away, anyway, as a result of the experience. It did something though. I came back, and things shifted. I started going to a new studio, I started, actually, turning inward. Perhaps too much so, I think?

I wanted to have a big "A-Ha!" moment on the retreat where things magically became clear. I wanted to have a breakdown. Anything. Others did. But I just went through it, feeling gravity of it, but not a big bang. But I think a big bang did happen, perhaps in the form of an implosion of something.

I do think I am better off than I was. Changes are occurring in my life. The practice of yoga, I suppose, is just being open to whatever the practice brings.

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