I’ve been practicing yoga for a while now. Not a terribly long time, but for me (a person who chronically gives up on sports) it’s been something I’ve stuck with almost as long as I did cheerleading. It’s been about six years I think (I was a cheerleader for ten years).
Yoga has been something that really resonates with me on many levels. It’s deeply personal. It’s challenging. It’s athletic. It’s peaceful. It’s spiritual.
And because it’s all of that, it’s an incredibly balancing activity.
One of the things I’ve loved so much about yoga is that I’ve been able to find my favorite poses. I’ll do all of them (except Half Moon. That pose can suck it.) and I enjoy finding and practicing new ones, but the ones I always come back to and really love are leg balances, specifically Tree and Dancer. I feel fancy and free and capable when I do them. I love photos I have of me doing them .
I did yoga throughout my first pregnancy and I was able to successfully hold Tree up until the week before I gave birth. I was giant and clumsy and felt insane doing things as simple as Down Dog, but when I did Tree? I felt powerful again. It felt good to be able to hold such a challenging pose while in such a challenging physical state. It was awesome.
So imagine my surprise and my distress when, this past Sunday, I couldn’t hold that pose worth a damn. It was all I could do not to cry. I’d spent the entire week practicing acceptance of the political state of this country so I just didn’t have it in me to further extend that acceptance to my yoga practice or myself. I was spent. I dropped my foot from my inner thigh to my calf and finally down to my toes and my heart just broke.
My mat is one of few sacred spaces I enjoy in my life. I only invite onto my mat that which I choose and that usually means it must be beneficial to me, whether that be spiritually, mentally, or physically.
On Sunday, I invited all the wrong things. I invited judgment and negativity and defeat. None of those things serve a purpose in yoga, nor do they serve a purpose in my life.
So now what am I supposed to do? Well, I’m certainly not willing to accept defeat. Not even a little bit. I will accept that it wasn’t my best practice and that’s fine. But it’s time for me to dust myself off and get back to work. It’s time to inhale the positive and exhale the negative. I’m ready to clean off my mat, clear my mind, and get back to the business of life and love.
There is a time and place for sadness, but as with all things, it is only seasonal. And for me, I need sadness to be a rather short season. I can’t let it linger lest it think it can take up residence in my heart and my soul. Rather, I am choosing to accept that I was defeated, but that I can phoenix the hell out of myself and my Tree.
It’s time to rise up.