Back on the mat

It is hard for me to remember some days that just a few short weeks ago I was bed bound with second degree burns covering my lower arms and part of my face!  There are still the reminders of what my body has been through.  My right arm from the elbow down looks totally different than the rest of that arm…still quite pink and tender.  And then there is my face that is slightly discolored in places and the singed hair is growing back ever so slowly…but healing is occurring.

The elasticity of time and memory amaze me!  I remember just after the fire and similarly right after losing my parents having this feeling of extraordinary clarity.  These life altering experiences cut through all the nonsense in life and what is truly important is so clear!  I have tried each time to hold on to that feeling as it elevates the importance of each day and yet with time the petty annoyances and distractions of each day creep in.  I have found myself both impatient with my healing and critical of my appearance at points.  I have enough awareness to catch myself but I wish there was a way to hold onto that clarity without the pain that accompanies something like an injury or death!  Maybe this is part of the journey?

Yesterday, for the first time since the fire, I was able to hit my yoga mat again…ever so gently!  My body has been through a lot.  My heart has also been through a lot these past few years but my mat never disappoints me!  I marvel at not only the healing ability of my body but also at the memory that exists in my body to respond to the postures.  This practice that has sustained me for some 16 years now goes well beyond the physical postures.  I was, in fact, practicing while I lay in bed recovering.  As with my faith, I carry my yoga practice with me wherever I go!  I would say that the postures are actually the least important part of my practice.  While they make my body stronger and more flexible, it is really who we are off the mat that determines how effective our practice is, no?  Having said that, I am so incredibly grateful to be able to move my body into triangle and to be able to do a chataranga again.  I am having to remind myself to take it slow.  I want to move and be back where I was a few months ago…but I can’t go back to who I was or where I was physically.  I can move forward taking all I have learned through this experience and allow that to transform me and my practice!  I have missed practicing the asana’s and teaching this practice to others but the burns have taught me!  I have changed.  Yoga has the ability to expand us if we allow it!  I hope I always am willing to allow for that change in myself and in others!
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This is not where my body is right now….not even close but that’s okay.  I will get there again or not…it really doesn’t matter!  What matters is coming back again and again to my practice and allowing myself to grow!  Be gentle with yourself as I am trying to be with myself!
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This expat adventure is just another step in my practice.  It is an opportunity to expand way past the point of comfort.  It is an opportunity to open our hearts and our minds to new and interesting ways of looking at the world.  It is constantly a reminder to live in the moment because everything is so new and different even if the language is the same.  Yoga has prepared us for this!  Here’s to living in the moment and making each day count!
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