Yoga, Pain and Growth


This morning I looked  in the mirror and  saw a woman staring back at me. Who is  that woman?,  I thought. Just yesterday I didn’t have this flaw on my arm and on my neck.  Oh my goodness, another surprise that wasn’t there before!  God blesses me these days with all kinds of new things that stare back at me in the mirror. Last week it was what my mother calls a “cherry”, a small mole like thing that appears out of nowhere.  Mine is right on my ribcage where the skin was flawless before.

Life does throw us some curves, but there is no way to handle it other than just smile.  Tonight I went to yoga to regain my youthful flexible body. I used to be able to put my feet on my neck.  I thought,  Surely I could do that again with a bit of practice and fortitude. I need the exercise no matter how long it takes.

“No you can’t”, a faint voice whispered in my ear.” My damn ego-self doesn’t leave me alone at times like this. It’s always yaking and picking on my self-esteem. I took a deep breath and expelled Mr. Ego into the breeze.

With my mat under my arm and a strong sense of self and purpose, I found my way through the maze of hallways to the appointed yoga class. It was dark with just a faint lamp lit in the front of the room. I decided to sit in the back so I could make a quick break of it if my body decided it wasn’t limber enough to even touch my toes.

Laying on my back and hearing the soft voice of the teacher, and the slow tones of the background music, I felt at peace. “Now, if you hurt, don’t do it.” the instructor says as I lay there waiting for the real work to begin.

Ten minutes into it, I was stretching and bending slowly. My ears were stretching too as they tried to take in the step by step instructions being given. Seems my hearing is going as well. Giving up, I opened my eyes to mimic what the others in the class were doing.  “Mam, close your eyes and don’t look at the others. Everyone has their own pace here.”  Oh geeze, I feel like an idiot now that I have been pointed out.  Hopefully everyone had their eyes closed and couldn’t see me squirm.

           

Twenty minutes and the body was weakening. The ego voice spoke again- this time with much rejoicing and rancor.  I could just picture this little thing jumping up and down in my head laughing and saying in a mantra.  “You can’t do it.  You can’t do it.”

By thirty minutes I was on a roll to prove to myself that I’m not a quitter and no matter what, I would finish this session without quitting or sniveling.  I’ll show myself that I can do this!

Forty minutes, the bones began to make some horrendous sounds as I had to bend in ways that are really unspeakable to talk about. I’m sure if a dirty old man were behind me he might get excited seeing me take my position with my butt in the air, but thankfully there was only the wall staring at me.

Fifty minutes and I looked at the clock. Ten minutes to go. I’m still here and not drooling or broken.  It won’t be long now,  I secretly thought.  How time flies when one is having fun.

One hour! Time to meditate and wind down. Breathe in, breath out.  Aw this is wonderful.  I feel rejuvenated.  Finally it’s time to go.  I pack up, get home, and take a shower.

Who is that woman in the mirror?  I think I know her.  She’s the one who did it!  “Ha ha Mr. Negative Ego.  Shows how much you know.  This woman is great with her wrinkles, dimples, and all of God’s wonderful gifts.  Take that with you!”

***********

This might be a cute story, but the truth is the truth.  Yoga is hard, and so is learning to bend to new ways and new ways of thinking.  Exercise your body, brain, and heart.  The more you do it, the less it hurts.  And be good to yourself!  No one should love you more than you do.

How have you been doing your exercises of life?

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