The Side Effects Of Lots And Lots Of Yoga
When I signed up for my sixth yoga teacher training, I had lots of thoughts. But then again, I didn’t really think when I signed up for it. I just knew I had to do it. I was fully paid before I ever got a manual, knew what the curriculum would be about or even what would be required.
I had gone through a two-year period of much more stress than usual and I wanted to wring the after-effects of all that tension out of my body for good and to put it behind me at last.
I had done the inner work to handle it all with as much grace as I could muster, but there is inner work and then there is really really deep work like body work that only yoga can get to, with it’s long-held twists and patient but simple intensity.
When I started the teacher training in February, my body hurt pretty much all over.
I was recovering from a shoulder injury that began last July, which was aggravated by further injury in the fall, and even my lower back and sacrum were aching. I felt deeply tired inside and I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage practicing more yoga on top of doing my usual work, which already requires a huge amount of energy.
After my first month of much more frequent than usual yoga, I felt calmer and my body hurt less.
Now I am beginning to get some really great insights.
When I work with my clients, I frequently give them so much to do to become healthier that there is little time for unhealthy behaviors. This is what is happening to me now. I have so much practice to do, so many books to read, so many questions to answer, breath work and meditation to check off my list, that there is little time to get into too much trouble.
Aches and pains still arise, but then there is something that I can do right away about them, and those energies don’t seem to last as long.
I am also having some new thoughts about this whole process we call “doing.”
I used to want to “do” so much with my life.
This included the fact that I want to be able to make a difference, a positive, beneficial difference, in the lives of others.
In fact at one time I was quite ambitious.
But it occurred to me today, while I was looking at my garden and my orchids and photographs I had taken of my garden and my orchids, that we can really see the effects of what people “do” by the energy they leave behind them.
Their wake, if you will. Like a wake behind a boat. The trailing end. What gets left after they are gone.
As I look at my garden, I can see that what I have created is a truly magical, peaceful, gorgeous energy.
To me, it’s a quiet feeling of ecstasy.
This is the energy that people step into when they come to me for healing.
Sometimes, like I did today when a client stopped by, I have to say, “Have you seen my garden?” And then they take a moment to actually turn and look as opposed to merely feeling, even if they don’t quite put words on it.
It’s truly breathtaking.
There’s an order to the view from my studio, with my blue jar fountain, the painted bench for waiting visitors, the angel in the corner from a dear client years ago. The flowers around the fountain surprise me with each season, eagerly sucking the water that spews over. The background of the trees across the street shifts from green to red to sparse to white and back again as the seasons linger.
I know other people whose wake is one of chaos. Or resentment, bitterness.
Other people I remember by their laughter, or the fact that they are able to make me laugh.
I want to be remembered for the beauty I create in the world.
I am holding my poses longer, much longer, than I ever have. I am going deeper in my personal practice. The poses may not be complicated, they may be places I have gone many times before, but I am hanging out and being with myself and noticing just what’s actually there.
The stress is being washed away for sure.
I can’t wait to experience what’s on the other side.