Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blurred vision

    As I’m awakening from Savasana- my eyes are fuzzy. The weight of the eye pillow leaving it’s lasting impression on me for a few minutes longer. I originally wanted to go to a class this morning, but decided against it- I’m feeling the urge to pick up my home practice and make it stronger than ever. Some time ago my teacher said that there is a natural ebb and flow to a yoga practice- Sometimes you practice a ton and it’s amazing; while other times just getting on the mat is a struggle- let alone doing some sun salutes. At the time I couldn’t imagine not wanting to practice 5 times a week. My home practice then was very strong, not only because I got to the mat so often, but because I was getting so much from it. From the beginning my practice gave me a sense of strength. It calmed my mind down, it make my body feel great! After my teacher training just 10 months from the day I started doing yoga at home from a book (I had never even taken a yoga class before my training- I was completely self taught from various books and dvds) I found myself confused. I took the training with the intension of turing the practice I loved into a job. It came around to bite me in the ass. After more than 2 years of struggling to gain a following- I completely lost my own practice in the process. At this point I was maybe getting on the mat 2 times a week- sometimes more, but mostly less. I had forgotten all about what I had loved about yoga in the first place. It was so different from what I had done on the past- There was no competition, no one telling me what to do or how to do it, no one making me do drills and picking apart my technique. It was all mine until this point. Eventually I stopped practicing all together- except on the occasion where I would actually get students in one of my classes. It had lost all meaning to me.
     I struggled to continue to teach- there had to be a reason that I couldn’t gain a following- it must be me, is what I thought. Looking back now I know that it was about me- but not the fact that people didn’t like me, it was more that I was carrying this pressure on my shoulders. I HAD to be “successful” whatever my definition of the word was at the time was completely false. What I’ve learned and gained over the last year has been completely amazing- and has taken me by surprise. Last April was the first time I was introduced to slackline yoga. I had decided to give myself a chance to fall back in love with yoga by taking a weeklong workshop at Kripalu. I immediately knew I fit it here (with the yogaslackers- not with the Kripalu vibe)
    When I came home from the workshop I felt like a completely different person. I was now once again on a mission to come back and be stronger than ever. I wanted to gain my confidence and most of all my practice back. I took the summer off from teaching to figure out if it was really the best place for me to be- and in that time I went to two more weekend workshops including slackline, rock climbing, and acroyoga. I also started to build my home practice- but more with the connection to my body that yoga really. I started working out and eating better- I would still do yoga but it wasn’t my focus. By the end of the summer I had started to practice yoga 3 or more times a week and felt like I was getting back into the flow. But on September 10, 2010 that changed when I injured my ankle- and once again I felt defeated- back to square one. Not only could I not practice- I couldn’t work out- I couldn’t walk.
     I knew that this was pretty serious- but I also knew that I’m a tough cookie... I was not going to let this ankle rule my life. I went to a Thai Massage training 2 weeks after the injury, and rock climbed a week after that. The PT thought I was crazy and begged me to take it easy, let it rest. While I know that listening to your PT and your body is important- it was more important to stay in the game. I was going to be stronger than this.. and I was.
     There have been many set backs over the last 7 months that I have been trying to heal this ankle of mine. It is literally and figuratively the achilles heal in my life, but amazingly I am over coming it. Yoga asana that have been unreachable- have been getting easier. I feel my drive to strengthen my home practice- the urge to get on the mat for more than 15 minutes. I couldn’t be more excited :)
     When we are knocked down repeatedly our vision is blurred. We tend to only see what is right in front of us- the negative. What we don’t get in the moment is that we have the ability to rub our eyes, blink a few times and look again. It is always better the second time :)

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