March 23, 2010


I have been experiencing an uncharacteristic step back from my yoga practice.

Started a month or so ago - I stepped onto the mat with one of my favorite, and invariably healing, teachers, and lost my shit. One knows that yoga brings up emotions locked in the body's deep tissues and faschia, so I am not unfamiliar with an occasional wash of tears as I move into a deeper place in my body, but this was different. From the moment I stepped onto my mat that day, I was a goner - tears streaming down my face through the entire practice, replacing the sweat that often drips onto my mat, and a pile of tissues from wiping my eyes and blowing my nose accumulating beside my space.

In the ensuing weeks, I've really been struggling. At the surface, there is crankiness (ranging from fatique to aches to pain) in my upper body, specifically shoulders and elbows. Knee down chaturanga has become almost de rigeur for me, and a vinyasa practice with a lot of sun salutations is torture. But deeper, there is a level of tiredness. Standing postures seem to be unaffected - but in general I'm just a lot more tentative moving onto my mat.

As a result, I've been for the most part, off the mat. I do a quiet, stretching practice most days on my own, and I move through much of the practice when I teach, but the 5x a week, hot / power classes that have been my bread and butter for the past 4-5 years have been out of the question. It's been a very frustrating, humbling, and interesting experience. Yoga has become such an important part of my life - physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. So not being on the mat with my friends, my teachers, and my community has been really hard.

Not sure what this is about. My theories are all over the map. Getting older (my birthday fell in the past month, and I'm on the cusp of the big 50) - and I am certainly butting up against the limits and mortality of this particular physical form. The change of seasons. Some cold or flu that has sunk down into my body (I am historically pretty rugged and most seasonal things do not lay me low, so it's completely possible that I have been sick but not really debilitated). Perhaps just a wearing out of my upper body from years of strong yoga, especially considering my extra weight. I've even considered something more esoteric like Lyme Disease - I have plenty of friends and a dog who have gotten that. And finally, I've been processing some very deep grief of late (related to living alone, to mortality, to my lack of a significant other), and perhaps the toxins and chemical release of that grief has been moving through my body and affecting my practice.

Still figuring it all out. I have a good arsenal of resources to call upon - massage, therapy, journaling, food knowledge, friends, and of course, yoga. But right now I am deep in my stuff. So if you've noticed a bit less Jude in your life of late, I'm in my cave, working on my stuff....

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