Posts Tagged ‘reality’
Learning to Rest
In case you were wondering why I have not been to the studio for a while, I’ve been on an extended vacation from asana practice, courtesy of my back. Yup, it appears I’ve slipped a disk. I can trace it back to shoveling snow this winter, anyways, that’s when it started to hurt. The good news is disks are actually easier to manipulate back into place at my age than when younger, precisely because they have become a little firmer and are less mobile. Who’da thunk? Needless to say, I am eager to get back to a more vigorous asana practice, but for now, I have to be satisfied with having graduated from doing the most gentle of movements (sphinx and low cobra with stomach, butt and legs NOT engaged) to being OKed to begin adding more “yogic elements” to these movements.
Recently, I helped my neighbor, who was injured in a car accident by adjusting a cart she is using to get around so it fit her better. I didn’t think twice about sitting on the floor and so I could work on the cart. But I sure thought twice when I had a hard time standing up! I am feeling “old” for the first time. Like really old. Like stereotypically old. Imagine an old lady bent forward and walking around with one hand on her back. OK, so maybe I am having a bit of drama about this, but it is quite a revelation when any movement heading in the direction of a forward fold, like bending down to pick up something from the floor requires planning, otherwise it will hurt!
What I am discovering in this period of forced inactivity is that I don’t really know how to rest. And, of course, that is really what my body needs to heal. In fact, I almost never rest, unless I am sick, and I don’t think that exactly counts, does it? My idea of the ideal vacation? Put on a backpack and hike for five or six days in high elevation mountains. My idea of a restful day at home? Get the shopping done, bake bread, cook, etc. while doing loads of laundry in between. Sleeping in? Mmmm, that would be 7:00 a.m., right? You get the picture.
So for me, the challenge is to learn to rest. To accept limitation. It’s probably a no-brainer, a doh! moment for most people, but my attachment to my perception of myself as a physically active and fit person throws sand in my eyes and makes it harder for me to do what I need to do to heal- which is rest. Luckily, the body reminds me every time my perception moves away from this new reality!