Good Morning my friends! In honor of National Yoga Awareness Month I chose to join George Washington University School of Public Health Blogging Contest.
I don’t talk too much about my own journey on this blog. Perhaps, that is something I will reconsider in future posts. I mention briefly about my past struggle with an eating disorder, anxiety and depression and rarely get into details. I think it’s because I find it difficult to write about it, when I feel as though it was someone else experiencing that life. I feel I am an outsider looking in, when the words of my past are written on paper. That is, until recently…
It was a rainy day here in DC. I was late, rushing around to get to a yoga class that has been on my “To Do” list for over a year now. The irony of a centuries-old favorite practice that promises to relieve stress and quiet the mind, was acting as my current source of stress: Making it to yoga on time. I parked far away from the gym door, as it must have been a packed class. Figures! Everyone from my favorite barista (hi, Brenda!) to my mailman is giving yoga a try lately. Now, usually I am the last person to advise anyone (myself included) to follow the herd. But the amount of people who are enjoying yoga suggested to me that there’s something to it. Whatever it was, I am too curious of a person to not find out. After all, if I didn’t like it, at least I would know why.
Okay back to that day…my first yoga class. After parking far away, I pulled a clever James Bond’s maneuver. I decided to run through the parking lot, twisting and turning, as a short cut to the double doors where I’d enter into warmth and dryness the fastest possible way. I grabbed my rubber yoga mat (used it as a shield for my head from the rain) and ran.
BOOM! As I was busy looking down at my feet trying to dodge deep puddles, I missed another yogi attempting to step out into the rain herself. My knee and shoulder hit her door as she opened it and I bounced backwards onto another vehicle. This was not how James Bond’s story would have ended…
I apologized to the girl (after all, I should have been the one looking where I was going), wobbled into the gym and saw the ugly purplish bumps forming on my knee and elbow. I was in pain and ready to skip the class, but the idea of going back out in the cold and rain (especially now that I was unable to run it) was not happening. So I gritted my teeth and entered the room of mats and poses.
The teacher asked us to come from a place of intention. She asked us to think of a life lesson that we may be needing to learn at this moment in our lives. As I attempted a crooked pigeon pose, the throbbing of my recent injuries were reminding me that I need to slow down! Here I was, rushing around in life. Trying to get everything done and be everywhere for everyone. I am a busy body. For those that know me, I love life and I try to live it as fully as possible. After all, this is it you guys. Our life is happening NOW! We only get one, so make it a good one.
But maybe this centuries-old practice is on to something. Perhaps, my run in (literally) this morning was a reminder to Slow Down and Breathe. To do less…GASP! What a concept I haven’t visited recently. Do less? How will I begin to do so? I wish I could say that I had a storybook ending from that class. No, I didn’t have all the answers after that class. I didn’t have a big revelation. But I did have loosened ligaments, more flexibility and some things to think about. I also had the desire to return for another class.
Shortly after, I was gifted a Groupon package for yoga classes. Oh the generous gift giver had no idea about my past attempt with yoga and how I planned to re-gift this yoga package the moment I opened the envelope. But I decided this was another lesson to be learned in life. So I went weekly.
As others would be in pose on their mats and in deep thought, I would be squirming and day dreaming about what I had to do once the class ended. Others would leave class relaxed and refreshed. I left class neurotic and just waiting to pack up my mat and tackle my “to do” list. In one particular class, we were told to get into child’s pose. It was then I felt it. No, not the tightness of my muscles. But it, the time of my life (my past) that I wanted to forget. The part of me that I wanted to stop writing about (after all, it’s many years later) and never wanted it to be mentioned again. It was that class, where in my crooked child’s pose, I felt a need to dig deeper into my old wounds and hurt. Since that class, I have been working on addressing things from my past that had hurt me and had me believing I was not enough. It is a journey of healing and I am grateful for it.
Yoga has taught me to slow down and connect with myself. To accept parts of my past as being part of who I am today.
Your turn: How has yoga affected YOU?
Always Be YOU,