Starting Over

Posted by on Feb 5, 2014 in Blog

This living in a body thing is an experiment.  When something happens to limit the use of the body, other things reveal themselves.  As a friend recently said, when you can’t do the usual activities for exercise, health and prayer, you can learn to “flex the muscles of the mind and heart”.

Coming back into ashtanga yoga asana practice after knee surgery has been one of the deepest phases of practice for me yet. But it has not been about how to get my feet behind my head or press up and float around weightless, or then again maybe it has…in a way, but the wisdom has arrived from coming back from a place of non-doing.

While slowly adding one small physical aspect at a time, the last 2 months has been a glimpse into the beginners experience once again.  I am re-learning how to hold myself strong and supported on my legs. I’m re-learning the importance of breath, and the priority of breath to create heat, as well as breathing myself into the yoga head space, not just moving myself there.  And most of all, this finding acceptance with moving in a much more limited way, has added to the foundation for true self-confidence and inward focus. Can we learn to love ourselves and be at peace even if our outer form (the body), is suffering or held back?  That’s exactly when we may cut through and learn to find lasting peace… peace with whatever is  happening right now.  It seems like a round-about way to find peace, through set-backs,  but there is a rite of passage that happens.  It may be new-agey to say it is about “surrendering to the now”… but when that becomes more than just talk, it’s a true relief. Let go and enjoy the simplest things.   The enjoyment itself is the path to freedom.

There are some great modifications… if one area of the body is healing, then perhaps take that time to really get strong in other things.  Pranayama practice and meditation steadiness for example, or in my case, since my knee could still bend but not take full weight for awhile, instead of jumping back between postures, I just lifted up on blocks and into lolasana, over and over… hello core!

Finally, when things are taken away, the renewed appreciation for health and the practice comes along when they return… everything seems new and fresh, as it probably can everyday regardless of the circumstances.  Anyway, I’m fully enjoying the return from injured reserve …