I was on my mat, attempting to keep the tension away from my face. I’ve barely moved my arms and I was already in pain. I had reached my edge for the day. I was not injured. I wasn’t sick or had any ailments. I wasn’t hungover and I had enough sleep and water. No, it wasn’t anything physical.
I told myself a few months back that I’m way past dissecting my practice with words. I hadn’t felt the need to carefully document each breakthrough and breakdown. In many ways, it’s a byproduct of becoming more introverted since teacher training.
Although this post starts out about my practice, it really is about something bigger. I promise I’ll get to that.
Back to half moon. I moved a mere 2 inches. I’m not one to measure against myself or others – this isn’t about the comparison. I noted that I only moved 2 inches because the thought of going further seemed too impossible at that moment.
I am not one who shies away from pain. After years of being a Bikram yogi and 9 weeks in training, pain has had a new meaning to me. So when I looked in the mirror, simply too frozen to go further, it wasn’t because I was afraid it would hurt.
I was immobile because I hated being there at that very moment. It wasn’t the teacher or the dialogue. I just hated the class. I hated every single thing in that room – the temperature, the humidity, the cigarette smell of my neighbour. It took every ounce of energy not to walk out.
I’ve been struggling the past little while but that was the very first time I had felt such utter dislike for being on my mat that it stunned me.
I initially blamed my edginess on PMS. As we hit the floor series, I thought about it some more and my feelings hadn’t changed. It wasn’t a hormonal imbalance. I suddenly recognized the feeling.
It was a similar feeling when I was struggling at a job position I was ready to quit. When I would visit my hometown and reluctantly catch up with old schoolmates. When I am about to break up with someone.
It was a feeling that I get when I have finally outgrown something.
And even though I had moved on away from writing about my practice, this was something I had to write down – to organize my thoughts, my plan of action. I know deep down the things I need to do to get my practice back, to stop fighting with myself to get on the mat, to address the anger that comes with that room.
So until I pick up the lessons I need to learn, I’ll just breathe for now because I know that this too shall pass. It must.
And this, I know that this is where the real yoga begins.