As I'm doing yoga this morning I started thinking about how far I've come with my practice. I've done it intermittently since high school, but a year or so after getting sick had to stop. Of course I can't remember now if it was pain or fatigue that ended my affair with Downward Dog, but assume it was an awful combination of both. After gaining 50 lbs. of toxic disease and drug weight, spending day in and day out feeling like a sausage about to burst from my casing, and hurting so bad death was a welcome notion, I started doing yoga again. Heavens to Betsy it was awful! Not only did I already hurt so bad I could hardly move, I was so damn mad I couldn't do what was accomplished with ease in my pre-sick years, it made me angry and depressed to even try. Luckily I can laugh at the irony now, because the whole point of yoga is to accept ones natural limitations, and instead of reaching for someone else's ideal, celebrate the peace of what is now.
I guess I had a lot more to learn from yoga than just how to touch my toes. Perhaps simply inserting the expectation into my life was the beginning of knowing I could change things. But looking back at the starting line, all I remember was a bunch of healthy people and doctors lecturing me on the importance of exercise. How if I just moved, Fibromyalgia would magically disappear. None of them understood that simply lowering myself to the floor was an epic feat, and then getting back up again, it wasn't guaranteed! A walk around the block, phlease! Give me the gold medal, I just completed a marathon! Their disdain at my laziness, my unwillingness to try, was a dark cloud hanging over my head, wrapped up in the self-conscious cloak of a woman who had no control over her own health, let alone life.
Last year for Christmas I got the second season of Namaste Yoga on DVD. The unique and challenging series of 25-minute vinyasas were the perfect way to insert yoga back into my life. Short enough that I don't talk myself out of doing it, but effective enough to transform me, it's taken a year to get through the 2-disk set twice. I'm amazed at the increase in flexibility, and decrease in pain, when I compare last year to today. Yoga alone didn't do it, but without it I know I wouldn't be here, now. Namaste.
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