Updated: Apr 2
This last year has been a time of surprise and challenges for me.
I am so grateful to those who have continued to practice yoga with me, especially most recently. At the end of February, I realized I had a traumatic wrist injury. This injury was quite devastating. Without the ability to practice such asanas as Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog, Plank or Cobra poses and even Table pose, my own practice was deeply impacted, not to mention yours. I was in so much pain I was losing sleep. My confidence was lessened, and I came to each class with a sense of uncertainty, wondering how I could actually sit in the place of the “teacher” with my limitations. I quavered, often right in front of your eyes, feeling like an imposter. I sought to find alternatives to bring you the quality I wanted for you through our practice together, but I was inundated with my own sense of being rendered inadequate. You continued your practice with me and together we pressed on. I was and am so grateful!
Over the months the wrist injury persisted. Then in June came the realization that I needed abdominal surgery. A completely unexpected shock! “How could this be happening?” I’d often ask myself. I had created my website and launched it at the first of the year, with the hope of reaching out to more people and welcoming them into our CommUnity, our Sangha. Obviously, I was being shown through these physical drawbacks that this was not the time to focus in that way.
Surgery was scheduled for the beginning of August and thankfully it went well. Post-surgery I wasn’t even “allowed” to practice without some major modifications for six weeks by order of my surgeon. I felt completely undone and my sense of myself deteriorated…. I offered you videos of past classes and practiced along with you those six weeks, watching myself and doing my best to quiet the internal critical voice inside my own head as I “critiqued” everything about my own teaching in each video. I was forced to observe my own ego. I had to let go.
I modified my seated, standing, and supine asanas and lost some tone throughout my musculature over those weeks and months. This furthered my egoic shaming, yet I knew I just had to continually let go - and trust. There was no other choice. My wrist mostly healed around the time I could return to a more complete practice. As I began to practice yoga without restrictions, I felt the loss of strength through my arms, legs, back and core, the constricting of my front body. A new bash to my ego self. I was being taught through experience the most profound compassion I have ever known. Compassion for all who suffer in the many myriads of ways
living beings do.
Yet those of you who chose to continue with me practiced with what I offered. You modified your practices too, choosing alternatives along with me. I was continually grateful for your continued willingness to practice with me through these difficulties, these challenges, and was actually happily surprised when you joined each class. Your support as well as your commitment to your practices were deep, powerful, remarkable, and amazing to me and I am deeply grateful.
I am grateful for my yoga practice. I experience yoga on so many levels. Through this practice my physical body not only maintains strength and resiliency, but, even in these elder years, my body actually becomes stronger with greater mobility and flexibility. I feel my arms and legs recovering lost strength from injury and the post-surgical time and feel reconnected to my core. My heart grows more fully in the areas of compassion for others and for myself. I feel trust in the Infinite Universe and the path I am on. I have so much gratitude for the teachers that brought this practice to us Westerners.
I have immense love and gratitude for those I share this practice with and see multiple times a week. You light up my life and give my life purpose.
For many, these elder years are a time of becoming less. Through the practice of yoga we are able to enjoy the tremendous blessings of strength, stamina, and resiliency. We are able to feel a radiance in our hearts, minds and souls. We are continually renewing ourselves each time we practice.
It is still my desire to share yoga with more wonderful beings such as yourself. To share this practice and know that they too can flourish throughout all the years of their lives.
Thank you so very much for continuing to practice with me.
Sending You Love
From My Heart to Yours,