I really didn’t want to go to the gym, again. My movement had been restricted for the last 5 weeks and I’d had more than my share of elliptical and stair step workouts. I decided to go home and roll out my yoga mat. It felt a bit like that scene in Eat Pray Love, where she rolls out her mat and just gives it a good stare down, wondering ‘what exactly are you going to put me through.’

Nonetheless, I folded into child’s pose. I began to move, honoring what my body was telling me and noticing all of the shapes and poses I couldn’t quite perform to my ‘norm’. I remind myself “healing takes time Sara, just keep moving.”

As I arrived in crescent lunge I went to lift my arms over my head and discovered how much work it takes to simply lift my arms. The tears began to fall.

The truth is, I had taken for granted, after healing from snowboard injuries, half marathon training, 2 natural child births of particularly large babies and several other small burdens, that I would ever need to heal again. I was sad for the version of me I was having to let go of, and I was anxious and overwhelmed not knowing who I would next become.

I continued through my modified flow, reverse warrior (no arm lift), extended side angle (my legs burning), the smarter version of me inside my head chose to skip the modified chaturunga- upward dog- downward dog, as I was terrified of laying on my stomach. I performed several rounds of the poses and the tears began to dry up. As I closed my practice in a meditation for peace, I was left with the residue of a thought… ‘Here I am again, healing, modifying, doing my best to say sane and to not be too hard on myself, as I respect the time it will take my body to HEAL.’

How many of us have forgotten that a few of the many gifts offered by a yoga practice are presence and healing. Sure we get to our mat because it’s part of our routine, we enjoy the exercise and even the community. But how many of us have forgotten the safe haven that yoga provides when we just need to heal. I believe at this point in my practice I need more than two hands to count the number of times my mat has caught my tears, and done so without any judgement or explanation necessary.  In that healing process we receive the reminder that our bodies are impermanent, our physical strength and flexibility are  fluid to our circumstance. We are reintroduced to the concepts of self- compassion and empathy.  And if ever there was a time when we could see into another person’s eyes and relate or connect with their pain and suffering, it’s when we can recall our own time of healing.  Let us not forget these precious gifts.

 

 

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