Saturday, 4 February 2012

Forced Hiatus and Being Gentle with Yourself

As you may have noticed, it's been a bit since I last posted.  Well, I landed myself a nasty bladder infection and a cold thingy and you know how you feel when you're sick, right? Yup, you don't feel up to doing anything.  As you can imagine, my practice suffered during this time.  I tried valiantly a few times to drag myself onto the mat, only to collapse in a sad-sack heap, waiting for the world to end.  Ok, it wasn't that bad, but there are times when you can try to push through your practice, and other times when you should just be in bed. Anything involving forward bends was killer on my bladder.  Hah! Not too much bending in yoga, eh? LOL So that cuts out an awful lot of practice. Hey! I could rock Savasana, right? Wrongo.  My bladder decided it didn't like me laying flat on my back.  Bummer.  So, the end result was that the Universe was telling me to take a wee break, and rest my body.  Quite frankly, I think it's rested enough, but what do I know? Who am I to question the great Universe in all its Infinite wisdom ;)

While a lot of people might enjoy a break, my problem is that I feel so guilty when I don't do it, and I rely on my practice to help the old brain to quiet down.  So, not only am I in pain, but now I've got to deal with the mental side of things, which, believe me, is not fun.  There's your proof if case you're wondering whether yoga helps your brain as well as your body.  It really makes a difference! Ask my dog, he'll tell you! ;) 

So I started out trying to be really cool and all "yogic" about the whole thing, telling myself "it's ok, just going to take a little breaky, don't worry, BREATHE" and other similar sentiments.  It only works for so long (about 5mins) and then you're gnawing at the bit, desperate to get back on the mat.  Hey, do you sometimes find your practice is a bit like taking drugs?  It's as though you're getting a high from it - an all natural, keep-you-out-of-prison type of high.

Lots of yogis, and other athletes say that when they work out, they get that "high" - that awesome, feel good all over feeling you get from all the endorphins being released.  I wanted that high back.  I wanted that quiet time again for my own sanity's sake.  The soothing familiarity of Ashtanga.  It's really frustrating when you're in the groove of your practice, and then something comes along and takes you out of the game for awhile.

So, what do you do during one of these breaks? I'm sure the "enlightened" folks would have done something entirely different than what I'm about to tell you, but I'm not enlightened, and nowhere near it - at least not yet anyway.  I do hold out hope that someday I will achieve a fraction of it ;)    
Well, I cried a little bit, mostly out of frustration, but also because I thought my bladder was going to explode from the pain.  I wasn't productive. I worried. A LOT.  I moped, and whined.  I ate bad foods.
I'd sometimes try to test out some asansas to see if I could find one or two that would work, to keep pushing myself, because in my mind, I was wimping out, but the end result was that I simply needed to rest.  To be gentle with myself.  I had been working hard on all aspects of myself, and now it was time to rest.

You know, I'm realizing (albeit verrrrrrry slowly) that these 4 simple words are something that keep coming at me, from all directions:  "Be gentle with myself"   I made it one of my New Year's resolutions because I'm beginning to understand just how damn important it is.  I have NEVER been gentle with myself, never, ever, ever. I am my own worst critic, and therefore, my own worst enemy.  Who needs enemies, when you've got yourself to sabotage, ummm, yourself? LOL  I'm trying to laugh at my pain, but deep inside it hurts.  I want to let go of the guilt and fear, to be satisfied with my efforts, and to just BE IN THE MOMENT.

I deserve that, don't I? 

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