Gift of Practice

If we go by the 8 limbs of yoga, we practice being, not meditating. We practice waiting, not meditating. We practice being patient, not meditating. Meditating may or may not happen today. It is action of direction without moving. It is the action of intention without doing. Can we wait without expectation?

With Tantris closing, my main yoga studio where I taught more than 10 classes per week. With any big shift and transition comes an upheaval of stuff. With big shift, the contents in life realign. The movement of that transition sheds light on parts perhaps not seen before. Kind of like when you clean your house and move the furniture around and suddenly see the mold that's been growing behind the tv. Ew. Exactly. Ew. Not expected. More than that, there was expectation that that wasn't there. Just as we would cringe to mold, we do with those darker places within us. We got used to hiding it with the tv. It's not there if it's covered, right? Habit. Except, truth is underneath that. And truth, always makes itself known. We just cover it. 

When I was recovering from one of stomach surgeries, I was on heavy pain killers which made me feel like there was a lot of stuck frequencies in my legs and all I wanted to do was stretch! When I was able to again, I never took a stretch for granted. Stretching became my self care. When I can tune in and attune to me in that moment. 

When I was recovering from my hip being reconstructed, I faced the possibility of having to teach yoga in a way that looked different than a yoga class. Sitting. Perhaps, teach meditation and not movement. I dreamed of my body working for my desires to move again. But also worked with this not being a reality possibly. Working with not trying to change anything. I would remember what it felt like when I would feel the heat of the room and my muscles hugging to bone, stretching and working. I'll be cliche and say it, it was juicy goodness. Gooey ringing out of muscles. I missed it so much. All I wanted was to do yoga again. 

I took that deep desire for granted recently. Working on average 20 classes a week in the heat, plus having my own practice melted a lot of body off of me. I hid behind the furniture this sensation of liking what my body was turning in to. Clinging to the pleasure of it. If someone would say, "You're so thin! You look great," I would have an aversion to that comment. Never taking the statement in, never checking in with how that made me feel, and moving along. Dismissing the clinging to liking and whatever else is under there. Present moment awareness, gone! I just moved the tv back in front of the mold. Gone. Don't have to look at it anymore. With Tantris closing, I am in the heat a lot less and not as much trims off. So, I've made some healthy decisions. I'm quite plant based, but boy do I love potatoes :D. So, I shall lower potatoes, lower juices, etc. The obvious stuff. Still, body is changing and I've become uncomfortable. Loss of control to what is happening. Having an aversion to this sensation, I've looked away with thoughts like, "You are a yogi and should not think this way." That's like saying, "You  are a clean person and should not have mold in your house." But, guess what? You do. Finally, I remembered. Soften. Then I could see:

  • Identifying with the role of a yogi
  • Identifying with this body
  • Shame
  • Lack of Heart. Numbness
  • Noticing of body-image judging, non-acceptance and clinging to what was. 

We can rely on that everything will change. With shift, comes shift. With this space in my schedule, I've decided to take it and commit more time in to my career shift majorly out of the heat. This has some consequences. Less working out, less body melting off. Becoming caught in the unreal, futurizing to what my body may become as though it's going to keep expanding until it can't anymore, like when Violet turns in to a blueberry in Willy Wonka. Thoughts are real, content is not. Oh right, I can choose to remember, I am healthy in diet and movement... now I can be again in mind too. Sometimes these dark spaces knock quietly at first. The more and more we practice, the more and more we can catch this before we get too caught. A resistance to looking at this could easily lead to a food disorder in either direction, obsession with working out, or anything. My body is shifting to my new lifestyle and that's okay. And thank goodness, because that means it's working well. 

Not liking being uncomfortable with this change, I notice the common humanity of most people with body image that I also have within me. I don't know why, how or what to do. We don't need to know the story to heal. We simply need to open to it. So I sit with how it feels when I'm in resistance and then I offer some Self-Love. Beginning with apologizing to the little girl inside, that I wasn't here for before, but I am now. I tell her how beautiful she is and I thank her for working well so that I can do the things I love, like move. I have taken these last few days to pay special attention to the parts that work well and are beautiful to me and the strength within me. I've also added in the practice of being with myself while caring for myself. 

We easily go about our getting ready in the morning, rushing. Looking at the mirror to apply make up and whatnot, but not looking in the mirror to see who is there. I have taken special care and feeling in to each task, like washing my hair. Caring for this cog in the wheel, dialing through this cycle of a human experience, I cultivate gratitude and love for it. 

This gift of space I have been given has allowed me to open up to loving myself more. 

It's a practice. That's why it's called practice. We forget. And then we remember. We practice to wait to remember.