This past month took it’s toll on me physically. I have been striving to improve myself in every way possible and pushed myself so hard that my body retaliated in full force.
One Saturday I was sitting cross-legged leading a meditation. As I stood up to move through my students and offer deepening adjustments, my right knee popped. A deep, dull, thudding “pop” noise that left radiating pain moving up and down my leg. I had little choice but to keep moving so I did just that and it wasn’t until later that I noticed I could barely bend my knee without experiencing pain. A few days rest, some anti-inflammatories and heat/cold compresses and I started to feel better. My knee and I were speaking again.
A few weeks later, I was out on a run. It was a Wednesday afternoon, 96 degrees. I had left work hungry, but decided to get a quick run in prior to lunch. It was about 2:45pm when I began. By 3:30pm I was under a tree awaiting an ambulance. I overheated and became very, very dehydrated. It was scary - my body felt like it was falling apart and in that moment, there was nothing I could do. My entire life is spent trying to make better choices for myself - physically, mentally, emotionally. The choices I make for my life are always with the intention that this is better for my health and happiness. Yet here I was, healthy choices be damned, in the ER.
The good news is that I’m ok - I am healthy, I am well. However, my dharma, it seems, is to learn balance. To bring some relaxation into my life and to be ok with relaxing. So, to that end, I spent Memorial Day weekend doing nothing. Yes, nothing. I went home, visited my family, spent all day lazily loafing by the pool, eating my mom’s delicious food (she’s a chef!) and reading The Tipping Point. It was divine! I slept in until 9am! I slept so well and drank water and relaxed and my brain just melted in a pool of warm honey. It was lovely.
After coming back to Austin, I relaunched my yoga practice. It had been about a week without yoga - the longest period of time I’d spent away from my practice in years and years - and the first downward facing dog was brutal. It’s shocking how taking even just a short period of time away from your practice really degenerates all the advances you’ve made!
So here I am, almost two weeks away from my dehydration. Three weeks away from my knee injuring. Feeling much better in every capacity. I have been focusing on my yoga practice diligently and moving through it with so much gratitude. It’s perhaps not been a blessing in disguise, but some sort of wake up call. Oftentimes it’s so easy to become thoughtless about all the progress we’ve made in yoga or in life. We know it took hard work to get where we are, but we forget or take it for granted. Then something swings along, knocks you on your butt and you have to stand up, eyes wide in surprise, dust yourself off and try again. Start from zero and work your way up. And working back up, although difficult, is incredibly delightful! My practice was so hard and challenging, it felt like I was back in my first ever yoga class, arms trembling ferociously as I struggled to maintain my down dog.
So I’m practicing balance in my life - working hard, relaxing plentifully. Taking pleasure in small things, appreciating my body’s signals to rest, and remembering the dedication to my practice that’s gotten me this far so I never lack gratitude again.