As a transplant to Utah I’m still very much in the season of making new friends and getting to know people. We don’t know each other’s back story. We don’t know each other’s struggles and triumphs. It’s all new.
The other day I was at the gym with one of my new friends—because really they’re all new—as I struggled through the brutal workout she had prepared for me I lamented “My how the mighty have fallen.” In place of a once strong and tough body there is so much weakness, so much that is broken, so much room for healing.
My heart was pounding and I found myself dizzy and nauseated. She stood by my side as I struggled not to throw up. It was a pretty depressing moment. How the mighty have fallen indeed.
Then a few nights later another “new” friend and I hosted a girls night. We talked about our lives and things that brought us to this moment. I talked about teaching yoga and the years I spent working at the renown Glen Ivy Hot Springs spa in Southern California. I pulled up the spa’s website to give her a picture of it’s picturesque pools and facilities.
There, on the front page was a promo video. We pressed play and a few seconds in there was this tiny little yoga teacher chatting while holding Warrior Three. She seemed so at ease and the fact that she could even stand on one leg amazed me. Then she turned her head and my stomach filled with knots. It was me. My face, my body, and yet that girl seemed so utterly foreign to me.
I turned the video off and had a great evening with this amazing bunch of new friends but when I went home I felt overwhelmed with sadness and personal disappointment. Today the thought of standing on one leg sends chills down my spine. I sit, uncomfortably, consistently shifting from side to side. At night I roll and whimper in constant pain only relived by the muscle relaxers that I resent taking. I resent waking up groggy and out of it. I resent the pain all together.
The truth is pregnancy broke me. And while I’d never take back those pregnancies and the sweet little children my body carried, I lament the way carrying them effected my body. Last year, on this very blog I shared a bit more of my story and you’re welcome to check it out here, but today and yesterday and that day at the gym I’m moving forward, one little step at a time.
I’m ready to make peace with my body. I’m ready to accept the pain and seek healing. I’m ready to get back in the saddle and maybe even return to teaching. I’m ready, my head is ready, but my body is a few steps behind, and this is a fact that I need to accept.
Compassion has always been at the core of each yoga class I’ve taught. I’ve never really been one to stand on my head, my intent has always been to work on something deeper something more internal. These two years, having to step away from that physical practice has ultimately taught me more about the spiritual and mental. It’s also grown that compassion in ways I could have never understood before.
I know that I have an uphill battle ahead of me. I know that I have to be patient and compassionate with myself. These are hard words to hear, patience compassion. They roll around in my head before I can truly digest them. I hope, dear friend, that you too can learn that self compassion, that patience mixed with determination to heal. I can promise you this, it will not come overnight, but it will come.
Photo Cred: Patrick Hendry unsplash