Friday, August 13, 2010

Being Disciplined

This morning no one came to my 8:30 am class, so it was a perfect time for me to work on strength and endurance for the upcoming mela. I put on some chilled music and started my journey on the mat. I began with sun salutations, moving slowly through A, extending my inhales and exhales, bringing focus to my breath and bandhas, being aware of the lightness in jumping up and back. Then on to B.

After attending a Nancy Gilgoff workshop this time last year, and hosting Bobbi Misiti at my studio in February, I changed the way I brought my hands over my head in my salutations. Keeping a neutral spine was easy when you bring your hands together in front of you and then over head, rather than opening to the sides and lifting them up. But today, I went back to the way I was originally taught and I liked it better. I felt a welcoming to the universe into my heart. Of course, I am part of the universe, but this felt active rather than passive.

I love balancing.
There were several instances where I was ready to stop and go to the closing lotuses, but instead, I moved on to a posture that seemed appropriate. My practice became more of doing what I felt, rather than staying with the set sequencing of Ashtanga. I challenged myself by holding high plank, doing lots of vinyasas, updogs and downdogs, really working my breath, attempting to flow through my postures with grace, taking time in Balasana or Samasthiti to check in with myself.

This preparation is required because for nearly a year I have felt like a crippled yogini. I had changed my diet dramatically and began to suffer from a short left hamstring. I have never had short hamstrings! What was happening? Sure I'm getting older, but this yoga is supposed to help me maintain my health, physically and mentally. What wasn't working? After months of chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, Shiatzu, I was still in excruciating pain. I couldn't practice my yoga. I'd rather die. Some suggested Fibromyalgia, others detoxification effects, but already having two auto immune disorders (Hypothyroidism, Glaucoma) I simply refuse to have another one. The thought that reoccurred to me was one that David Williams expresses in his workshops. A body in dis-ease develops disease. I couldn't agree more, but I am determined that my dis-ease will end. So it turns out that my pelvis was severely out of alignment and it has taken too-numerous-to-count trips to the chiropractor to fix. I'm not perfect yet. There is still pain in my shoulders, which I am addressing with more shoulder opening postures. A month ago I couldn't bring my hands to reverse prayer, or fold forward in Janu Sirsasana. Today I can. Yoga, in tandem with body work, heals.

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