Wednesday, 13 April 2011

ok brain stop all that whining

The day after the tsunami hit Japan, I was at the studio in Dartmouth, getting ready for my class.  I was laying in savasana waiting for Brittany to start the class, and as usual was thinking about how badly things had gotten out of control after my injuries.

You see, 5 short years ago I had managed to tick run a half marathon off of my bucket list.  I had celebrated my 50th birthday by running a half at the Manitoba Marathon, and another half at a run in my home town.  It had been the result of 3 years of training, and hard work.  Then the unthinkable happened.  my body turned on me.  I tripped and fell while out on a run, I ended up with a significant lower back injury, and then first the right shoulder froze, just as it was starting to get better the left one went out in sympathy, and finally the right shoulder froze again.  I spent the next 2 years walking around looking like a turtle, as well as chronically dragging my left toes as a result of my left leg constantly numb, this resulted in frequent tripping over my own feet, and oh yea just because things weren't bad enough, I hit menopause.  One day I got up off the couch, found the bathroom scale and realized that I had gained a staggering 70 pounds.  I dusted the chip and cookie crumbs off of my enormous belly and cried out "Oh my god, I'm going to die if I don't do something about this".

My negative talk is not usually me thinking bad things about myself or being angry at my body, no, when I really get into the swing of things mine is a full blown pity party.  I worked so hard, why would this happen to me????  It's not my hoo hoo ......You get the picture,  

But back to the the tsunami class. Brittany walked in and asked us all to set an intention for the class.  She suggested that on that particular day it would be appropriate to send out good energy and open our hearts to the people of Japan.  Since it is a little hard to stay mired in a personal pity party when others are facing such enormous devastation, I went along with it.   That particular class was a turning point for me and my practice.  I stopped thinking about how my range of motion is limited in my shoulders, and when we hit warrior one I imagined myself lifting people out of the water, in runner's lunge I was holding back a wave, in tree pose I was scanning he horizon searching for a young man I know.  I dedicated that practice to sending love and hope to Takuji.  A couple of years ago, my son and I hosted a Japanese exchange student in our home.  He turned 16 on the day he arrived, and he was lonely and homesick the whole year he stayed with us. I had considered the whole time a dismal failure.  Every attempt that my son and I had made to involve him in our life had failed. and he had spent most of the year playing video games all night (destroying my computer in the process), and skipping school. He had never made any attempt to stay in touch with us.

Now this is the part where the miracle happens.  A week later I got a friend request on facebook.  Takuji is alive and safe, he says he thinks of us often and wishes that he had opened himself up to all the experiences that we had offered him.  Just another example of how an open heart opens the most unexpected doors.

I will always be grateful to Brittany for encouraging me to let go of my petty concerns, and look at the greater good. My practice has changed enormously since that class.  I try to think of myself as powerful, not damaged, I am enormously grateful when I only wobble in the balancing poses.  That is a huge step forward from having my leg literally give out.  I mean what an amazing leg I have....all the doctors said that it would probably never fully recover.  The benefits have mind blowing, both physically and mentaly.   I even started to consider making a secret goal for myself.  I would start considering this goal, and then I would say don't be crazy old girl, you could never do that.  This negativity would be followed by a round of you need to do something that scares you.  This was followed by you'd look like a fool, you're not 20 you know, you need to stop all this crazy talk.  

Last night I went to two classes in a row with Brittany.  I like doing this because I find that just at the point when I feel that I can not hold another pose, my body just takes over and before I know it, I'm doing something that I would never have tried if I had taken the time to think about it.  I stayed late to ask her permission to use her name in my blog today.  We started talking about how putting self doubt and negative thoughts aside was so helpful both in and out of the practice, and I questioned her sanity at making us do 3 (yes I said 3) camel poses in a row. Then.... she said it.......  She had thrown a door open and shone a light on my crazy idea.  The secret was out in one short sentence...."you should take the training and become a yoga teacher"   I think I will.

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