The first time I took a Bikram yoga class back in 2009 – I remember thinking….”You want me to put my leg where? How exactly am I supposed to balance on one leg AND kick my other leg out straight – much less swing it behind me into a standing split!?”
I was intimidated – and the competitor in me was feeling completely defeated.
But – I kept going back to class. Something kept me coming back into that room. perhaps it was that indescribable calm I felt for the first time in my life in savasana. Or it was the first time I had heard myself breathe in years.
Class after class – teachers kept encouraging me that even if I was doing the first part of the posture – I was getting the full benefit…(even though I didn’t believe them!)
But see – I want to look like that woman on the front row!!
Eventually I did get all of the poses (I did not say MASTER….just “get”!)….and this was a result of showing up to my mat day after day for a couple years. Letting go of what I thought I was supposed to look like – listening to my body – and trusting the process. Trusting the yoga.
Fast foward to the now…Thank GOD yoga is such a different thing for me now.
When I go to a yoga class or practice yoga (since completing training – I much prefer to practice on my own rather than go to class!) – it isn’t about having the most pretty standing bow – or not falling out of tree. It is about grounding & connecting with myself and the greater good that I would like to become. It is about finding my breath – finding my purpose. Not getting lost. Doing the next right thing.
And every day is different. Every day I need something different. Some days I need to lay in reclined hero for 15 minutes on a bolster….and some days I need to walk myself down the wall 15 times into a backbend.
Every day life is different.
Especially when you have a child with autism. A child who cannot speak to communicate their needs – and a child who needs so much.
Today I started writing because I am so grateful for the yoga. I am writing because I have to teach tomorrow – and perhaps I need to inspire myself. I need to remember why I started yoga – why I decided to teach in the first place. I need to pull those things out of myself – because when you spend your whole life caring for your child – you forget who you are and what you are about sometimes.
This last week has been the most challenging week I have had in at least a year. My little one has had some kind of mental shift – and has become overloaded. She has been spending most of her days whimpering and crying – unable to calm down – and unable to tell me what she needs. She won’t eat. She won’t sleep. She won’t stay at school. We have been to the pediatrician twice to check her out. Her Occupational Therapist (who is one of the best in the southeast) – is stumped. We are all stumped. We are all exhausted.
I was able to get 2 hours to myself yesterday – and instead of going to the gym to go running – or rushing off to a class – I went to the mat. I started breathing – I started moving – and I was able to bring the peace back to myself. For the first time – a little voice inside me spoke up and reminded me to trust the process.
Last night she was awake for almost the entire night. Frantic – crying – upset….but for one of the first times in the past week – I was able to calm her down. I put my entire body into her tiny bed (toddler bed with a weight limit of 50 pounds….oops)….and rubbed her feet. Rubbed her back. But the difference between last night and other nights is that I was practicing yoga the entire night. I was practicing Dirga pranayama- I was practicing Ujjayi – I was doing nadi shodhana…..and I know she could feel it.
I was calm – I was centered – I prayed – I breathed – I did the yoga.
Our little journey is far from over….and tomorrow I must teach a workshop at a new studio. I am nervous – because frankly I haven’t been myself in the past week – but as I have written this – a calm has come over me.
I trust the yoga. It has brought me this far. I trust my higher power for getting me here – and I know that the universe will not take me on a journey without a reason.
So – I hope that my musings have made some sense today – I am going back to the mat now.