Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Itching For a Fix
This pneumonia thing has really made me crazy. I'm itching for a fix - a yoga fix.
I was confined to bed for a very long weekend and in between drinking gatorade and hobbling to the kitchen to forage for food, I checked off every little bit of business I had on my to-do list, and I was about to find myself out of things to do. Organizing my photos was the end of the line for me.
By Monday, I took an assessment about how I was feeling. It was okay. Not the most energetic but better than days before. I had an early morning class at UCLA that was not covered by a substitute. I was up way before my 6 o'clock alarm went off, so I could make it to class, albeit on a much slower pace. And I did. And then I went home to rest for an hour. So for two days, I was not a perfect patient and I showed up to teach in buddha fashion, wan and slightly out of breath. I was lucky. Nothing bad happened to me. Some of my privates divinely cancelled. Less running around for me. I walked slowly to classes and rested in between with diligence.
By Tuesday, however, I was itching for my yoga mat. I had not unrolled my mat at first because I didn't want to bother with folding it up into its cozy yoga bag. Too much energy to do that task. But it became apparent to me that by not rolling out my mat, I was not triggered to move about and demonstrate to the class and, thereby, get out of breath.
Then I began to look at other yoga mats with longing and desire. There were yellow ones and blue ones and fancy designed ones and my students were practicing yoga on their mats and I was sitting immobile on my rolled up mat in its bag because I was under house arrest.
By Wednesday, fifth day of my antibiotic course, I was being triggered all over the yoga rooms. It got to the point where several times I asked a yoga student to let me onto the mat to demonstrate. I was being sneaky and had began to get my fix in bits and pieces. By the end of my last class on Wednesday, I was actually standing on my head. "Please move off your mat," I asked a yogi, practically pushing him off. "I'll show you how to set up a headstand." And then I did one.
Bless me father, for I have sinned.
I am in love with yoga. I am in love with teaching it, talking about it, and doing it. It thrills me and make me very joyous and positive. I believe it is helping me to move through my illness with grace; it has kept me present with my healing. It has kept me calm and flexible. Yoga is a way of life because it is a practice - a practice that connects the mind and body together with the breath, prana or life force.. Integral to the practice is a beautiful philosophy with ethics and a code of behavior that centers on an open heart. The heart represents a generosity of spirit and a true sense of forgiveness. It's principle of non-violence in thought, word and deed, truthfulness, non-grasping, dedication to being thoughtful about the body are all values that lead to a more fulfilling an satisfying life.
It's really nice being on the back nine and dedicating a great part of my life to yoga in these last decades of my life. It creates a sense of peace and tranquility for me that I find increasingly satisfying. So, okay, I'm triggered by a yoga mat. I get the itch to practice after days of being off my mat and wandering around the yoga room adjusting bodies. It's okay. It will all come back in time. My breath is getting stronger by the day. And I have the advantage of always being aware of my yoga breathing, the deeper inhales and exhales that fill up my cells, create more space in my body for a more energetic life.
What could be better than itching for a fix?