... and therein lies the yoga for today.
It's day 3 of my 40 days and the lesson and meditation for the day has definitely been to listen to my body. Sometimes, what our bodies really need is rest. And this was my meditation this morning as I prepared to go to 6am yoga. My arms were throbbing and I could hardly get my clothes on and yet, I was determined that I would go to 6am. But, with just enough time to get there, I sat on the edge of my bed, closed my eyes and asked myself what I really needed. The answer was: a little more rest. So, I sat and read my book and readied myself to greet the day. I knew that I needed rest and it took everything I had to allow myself that time, especially considering my dedication to my practice of late.
So, I allowed myself rest... for a bit.
It turns out that I may be too hard-headed and competitive for yoga. I taught my 4 o'clock class to Laura and Josh, which was a really beautiful practice to watch, as they are both pretty regular power-goers and it was beautiful to watch them slow down and really sink into the postures of the Slow Flow. Afterwards, I was still feeling a lot of pain but I was craving the heat and movement of a Power Yoga class, and against the advice of Amy and that little voice in my head, (and because my competitive streak took over when Jody told me I needed to "man up." And you know I love a challenge) I took Lisa's class.
Today, I am thankful for legs.
I am thankful for legs because being limited in the use of my arms, I was forced to really work my legs and belly tonight, avoiding the use of my arms. It might have been the most frustrating practice I've ever had. Don't get me wrong, the flow was beautiful and in any other circumstance it would have been the perfect class for me: lots of arm balances and binds. But, tonight, I took child instead of down dog. I kept my arms down in Warriors and lunges. I kept my hands at heart center for every standing posture. I did not take bows or dancers or eagle arms. I sat in squats, rotated in twists and sinking into child, seething and frowning at my inability to lift my arms with my heart or roll my shoulders down and back or extend them out in front of me.
And yet, I felt my eyes well up in tears during Savasana, not because of mere frustration but also out of gratitude. I am grateful to know that this was a setback in my practice today. It will not last forever. In a few days, I will have my arms back and because of this day and this feeling of frustration, I will feel immense gratitude as I lift my hands high to the sky and salute the sun. I will relish in each downward-facing dog and shine my heart open as I twist, binding the arms behind my back. I will thank my body for allowing me this ability again and I will smile at my good fortune: I am fortunate to have these arms that do so much for me and that I often take for granted. I am thankful. I am thankful. I am thankful.
Time to rest, now.
3 days down, 37 to go!
I love you all.