Spring is here and so is an increased energy to do start new projects…let the blogging begin! I’m not sure about you, but this past winter was particularly hard for me on so many levels. After my trip to India, I found that coming back to the cold weather (well, cold for San Diego) here made my practice extremely difficult if not downright shitty. I somehow managed to incur a sprained SI joint and I was in excruciating pain for about 4 months. I would cry almost every day and found myself groaning like an old lady every time I would sit down and get up. The pain was so intense that I had a hard time sleeping…I was on the verge of going to a doctor. I detest going to doctors and do not go unless absolutely necessary. I saw a chiropractor and he was the one who told me what I had; his adjustments were amazing but did not heal it. He told me to back of yoga (pff yeah right). I then saw an amazing acupuncturist who’s healing female energy is what sparked me to take a different look at my pain. PAIN, uggghhhhh. WHYYYYYYYY?!?!?
I am 37 years old and my body is changing, I can feel it. I still keep having to tell myself over and over that I just had a baby 3 years ago. Celine, my acupuncturist, told me that she remembered her body going through something similar around the same time in her life…hips shifting, lower back tightening. I noticed that it was the same after my first born, I call it the 3 year marker. For my body, it takes 3 years to go back to whatever “normal” is after giving birth. It felt really good to talk to another woman who has been through the same thing, a woman who has such a healing, motherly energy as hers. The pain I was experiencing unequivocally forced me to go inward and question everything, including why I have a hard time cutting myself some slack.
I also did some serious questioning of the Ashtanga practice and methodologies and myself. The pain made me very doubtful of what path I had chosen for myself. Looking back, I think I went through a little bout of depression. The cold & rainy weather did not help. I was desperate for an antidote.I even emailed my teacher, Andrew, and told him how I was feeling and that I was, dare I say, thinking of trying new things. He told me that I needed to just do first series until things started to heal and to take things very gently.I took a breath and agreed.
Then I signed up for a pilates and a barre class. It…was…WEIRD!! At first I found myself greeting it with a negativity (the breathing was all wrong!), but I then I thought to myself, “Be open! You’re already here so enjoy it, F it!” Turned out that it was very helpful to hear different cues for doing certain motions. I found myself letting go and having some fun; I didn’t take it so seriously. Was that what had happened to me with Ashtanga…I took it too seriously? Did I get so into it that I forgot what it was to find the joy in it? But being in so much pain made it super difficult to find the joy in anything. I think I got caught up so much in the pain that I couldn’t see anything else. Every movement reminded me that the pain was there, it totally and utterly encompassed my whole being.
During times like these, I realized how freaking lucky I am to have such an amazing teacher and **sangha**. It was in an email to my teacher that I was reminded of the power of JOY. Throughout all this pain, I was forced to make a decision on how to deal with it; and it wasn’t how I used to deal with pain, you know, just gritting your teeth and plowing right through it…not taking the time to deal and heal? I allowed myself to chill, love, and do some serious healing on a physical, spiritual, and female level. I made 3 more acupuncture appointments and listened to the words of a wise woman while breathing in her healing energy (I know this may sound weird, but you should meet her). I even made a 4th appointment just to show my body that I love it and am willing to take the time to welcome whatever was bothering me/it, confront it, and send it on its way. I also found a female massage therapist that had some powerful healing words as well. For so long I have been handling my life decisions with so much male energy; forcing my way through things, well, because I had to. One does not get an MS in School Psychology while pregnant, then getting a good job, starting a company, buying a home, running a family, etc. just on female energy alone! Although this style of doing things has served me in the past, it no longer does. Hence, my shift for 2016. I definitely have my work cut out for me.
Now, I still may do a barre class every once in a while, but nothing soothes my soul more than a good practice. And for the first time EVER, I had a week where I practiced 6 days and it actually felt great. My SI pain is still sometimes there, but I acknowledge it this time, take greater care on engaging my bundhas, slow down, and relax. And whenever I find myself tensing up, I send it all back through my hands in downward dog, giving it back to the universe to deal with. Take heed tension! I will no longer accept you!
I am so happy I found my way back to Ashtanga….yet again. Maybe this time I will stay.
**funny how articles pop up at certain times your life when you need them the most**