Thursday, June 23, 2016

my body. foreign territory.


 Olivia stretched out

I turned 33 two days ago and all I keep thinking about is something my cousin said to me about the 33rd year begin a special one.  Not sure if there is something magical or mystical about 33, but I am going to run with it anyway and use it as an excuse to get my butt in gear and make some changes.

This past year has been one of many transitions and changes...most good, some uncomfortable and not so fabulous.  My family moved from our home in RI, where we were finally building a community, to western NY.  From the "hustle and bustle" of city-ish life, to a quiet town in the woods.  I started a new job, the kids a new school, and my husband a new position with a total new skill set.  We moved into a new house and cultivated a home. 

Now that we are settled, I have been thinking a lot about what is important to me.  I have a little more time with myself and my family since we moved here, and I have been wanting to motivate towards things that have seemed out of reach for the past few years....most specifically my yoga practice and all that it brings with it.

When I was in midwifery school I became part of the Ashtanga yoga community.  Introduced by a dear friend and teacher, this practice sucked me in.  The repetition, consistency, and community of it allowed me to flourish in it's environment.  The very early morning, 6 day a week practice in the shala wooed my heart.  A 2 month trip to India fueling the fire.  However, after graduation, moving, and starting a new job as a midwife, my practice very quickly disappeared.  I had no motivation to practice on my own, no shala to call my home, no community....and I withered.  I could not and did not get to my mat.  It stayed rolled up in my closet, forgotten. 

Today, I got back on my mat.  I have to say it was a bit of a disaster.  The fluidity, flexibility, strength, and calmness of mind that I remember from my practice was almost non-existent.  Stress, 2 pregnancies and births, and no practice for 6 years, has left me feeling like a stranger in my body.  I almost don't know what to do or how to move.  I am scared.  Scared that I will slink away from the practice in fear.  Fear that my body cannot/will not move as it used to.  Fear that without a yoga community I will loose motivation.  Fear that I won't stick with it.  To be honest, I am not sure that I can do this.

What I do know is that I want my practice back.  I am going to have to learn that perfection is not going to happen...and I have to be ok with that.  I may have to reach out to fellow Ashtangis scattered around the country.  I may have to learn to be ok with myself where I am.  I have to create my own space to grow in.  I am not going to set any bars or standards, no lists of what I want to accomplish; only a daily, conscious effort to move forward.  Slowly as it may be.

 my silly lady who always makes me laugh

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