The last three years I have consciously practiced Yoga everyday. I write ‘consciously’ in reference to the eight limbs and under the idea we all exercise aspects of yoga whether we are aware or not. The asanas or postures have been a part of my daily practice as a means of connecting and grounding myself. When I began exploring asanas I was surprised by the strength and flexibility of my body. Past injuries played a part in thinking there would be many poses inaccessible to me, but mostly my mind I found created a map with many road blocks. My body was able to carry my skeptical, self-limiting mind through the boundaries I created. My belief in myself grew, I was capable of so much and I accepted no limitations. My daily (asana) practice consisted of basic, foundational poses and depending how I felt headstands, arm-balances, backbends, with the newfound handstand thrown in.
This past winter after many long days of shoveling hefty Colorado snow, my neck and upper back became stricken with pain, almost unable to turn my head, my practice took a big shift. I rested while I worked closely with an ortho-bionomist and another holistic practitioner that encouraged me to focus on lengthening and core work emphasizing the need to listen to my body. While I thought of myself as being a good listener (of my body) I realized I hadn’t been listening because it was not what I wanted to hear. I had pushed myself to the point where I had to hear what my body was trying to communicate because let’s be honest at this point it was screaming at me. I focused on restorative poses and nurturing myself through meditation, an area I previously found uncomfortable. Meditation became a sacred seat, I began to welcome whatever came up even more so than before, I felt it moving through me instead of stagnating within me. Slowly, I was able to revisit postures that were once second nature. I was very excited to incorporate inversions and to feel the amazing sensations that arise from the increased blood flow.
Last week I woke up with my right arm in terrible pain from my shoulder down to my wrist. Although better than it was last week I have very limited mobility and absolutely cannot apply pressure or lift much of anything. At times I have found myself a bit frustrated but quickly realized I am resisting where I must surrender.
I’m practicing my ultimate practice by accepting where I am everyday and honoring the needs of my whole being. The practice is in the practice.