A gentle reminder to be gentle

I am at the Yoga studio. It’s been 2 weeks since I practiced yoga. Since the last month or so, I have been doing less yoga than I need or my body is used to. It should have been a warning. But I don’t think anything of it. Today it feels harder. I am surprised. I slept well. I am well hydrated. Why is this happening? But it happens. My body does not move the way it’s supposed to.

I have lived with chronic pain for 11 years. Since February 2018, I have been practicing the Vipassana meditation daily. There has been an 80% improvement in my life with pain. I go weeks without any pain. In Yoga, I am able to do a lot more, kinda like the fancy poses you see on those Instayogis. So when my body doesn’t move in downward dog, the simplest of all positions for a flow class, I feel betrayed.

I start pushing myself. My body does what I want it to. There is no pain. BUT, there is no joy. Every move is a struggle. Every pose seems endless. I check in with my breath – non-existent. I start by focussing on my breath again. There is ease. I push myself. Check in again. There is no ease. There is no breath.

This feels different. When there is no pain, why won’t my body move? And then I decide. Fuck it. I am gonna go easy and modify everything. Wherever there was struggle, I put in a modification. I used a block, put my knee down when I needed to, skipped the push up, did a different pose.

Result: I could stay in all the poses. I completed the class. There was breath. There was ease and most importantly, there was joy. I did try the advanced poses that the teacher asked us to try. I fell out. I laughed. I felt elated.

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Location: PowerYoga Canada, Etobicoke

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