breathe. feel. be.
don’t push. don’t strain. don’t let your attention wander.
breathe. feel. be.
I’ve been following physio’s orders and holding off asana practice for a couple of weeks, giving my hamstring a chance to heal itself.
So first practice today. Yes, in some ways this feels like the first practice ever. It’s not the absolute beginning, but a new beginning. A pick-myself-up-and-start-again kind of beginning. A subsequent beginning more daunting than any first beginning.
a gentle warm up. as much about coaxing my mind into this as about warming my muscles for movement.
one single round of surya namaskar. oh so slow. how far can you modify before these poses become something else I wonder? but no-one’s watching, and in my head these are the most beautiful movements my body has ever done. savouring each movement. pausing between poses taking stock of mind and body. and hamstring.
vira 1 and 2. keep them high and controlled. feeling strong and connected. focus on opening the chest, shoulders relaxed. drishti. breath. relax a little. i dare a smile.
vira 3. first on the weaker leg. keeping the pose high. not leaning into it at all, just taking enough weight into my right leg to test the strength. it’s not happy that’s for sure. another breath back to standing. a quivering moment in tadasana as i check in whether my leg really hurts or is just shocked by my gentle demands. vira 3 now on the stronger leg. feels divine (oops how did the ‘d’ word pop out?). bringing my torso parallel with the ground. check hip alignment. correct it. lengthen spine. crow’s toes pushing out behind, so far they make contact with the furniture. i flinch, i giggle. now back into focus. feel the hamstring. control the stretch here. another breath to relax into the length of my spine. i could stay here for ever. i’m just hanging in space…
an exhalation takes my torso down, folding down into standing splits. the upper leg doesn’t really want to go anywhere. toes pointing more to the window ledge than the ceiling. damn. frustration bubbles up. come on, this was what you were working on before your hamstring gave up… and, yep, that thought tells me everything in a microsecond. a nemesis moment. an ego moment. let it go! hang your head down. not in shame, in submission. submission to the moment. this is the chance to honour your body and your practice and be just here, where you are, where your body can take you with grace and integrity. let it be here, just here. and be OK with that.
tadasana. body scan. how are you doing?
on the floor to fold the physio exercises into my practice. some gentle prone backbends. a moment of contentment. my spine so grateful for this chance to move after days of rigidity.
unravel with a twist. let it all go. 20 minutes of quivering concentration and i’m wrung out.
how do i feel?
pathetic, vulnerable, weak, damaged, cautious, wobbly, healing, mobile, hopeful, courageous. stronger. all me.