I’m doing a lot of sweet-talking to my body at the moment, coaxing it to move, to loosen up, to come on a journey with me. All my muscles are hurting, some of them pretty uncomfortable, with old injury points reasserting themselves for no good reason. It’s not an excess of practice, I think it’s just ME symptoms arising at the moment.
Through this I’m trying (in the spirit of being ‘open to learning‘ in my recent post) simply to observe this phenomenon and not get too caught up in the drama of it. I could revisit old narratives of illness and incapacity, but instead I’m very deliberately taking a different direction, a much less familiar pathway: being conscious of all the possibilities that are still available and see if I can gently expand these, avoiding frustration and comparison, seeking instead some gratitude and some humility. Truly I believe that this is more Yoga than pounding on auto-pilot through a dozen surya namaskar just because you physically can and are crazy-keen to get warm enough for the next exciting arm balance. On my good days I can do that too; on my bad days I have to let that rest as something like a dream.
And I’m realising that with care and a heap of patience I can usually find something in practice that lifts my heart and if I let go of desires my body unfurls itself a bit and feels better, stretches don’t snap me as I fear they will, and instead some space opens up.
Hubby came and quietly watched me practising a little at the weekend. He said my practice didn’t look too shabby to him. His canny observation was that there was a time not so long ago when I would have killed to have moved this way on my best ever days. That’s true and worth remembering. I’m learning a lot about how to look after myself. How to move through āsana is teaching me quite a bit of that. The feelings in my body might be intense and not too welcome, and all too easily this can be overwhelming and frustrating. But I’m defining for myself a delicate process of allowing feelings to be as they are and then gently challenging them and seeing what happens.
If I can tread this balance my new normal really isn’t too shabby. And sometimes some small magic happens.