I got really sick recently, and it shook me. It was a beautiful morning and I woke in a lovely mood, feeling tuned into my heart and gentle with the world. Though I had a nagging ache in my head and a rumble in my stomach, I figured my moon time was approaching, and all was well.
A few hours later, I was purging and shivering and shaking and unable to keep my head up long enough to drive myself home to bed. A kind friend rescued me from the side of the road, and drove me to safety.
As you may imagine, yoga came off the docket for the next few days as I tended to the basics of sleeping and relearning to eat. Each day I gained a little more strength, but I remained supremely gentle, discouraging even the simplest of stretches. Beyond the physical reality of sickness, I noticed that the emotional toll of becoming unexpectedly ill was perhaps the most lingering symptom in my consciousness. At the end of the week, I journeyed to staff Camp Grounded, a technology free adult summer camp (and the best thing EVER), and I found that my biggest fears involved trusting my own body to carry on as I hoped it would.
One morning, when I had skipped the early yoga on the green class and done my own gentle down-dog near the lake, I found myself walking around with a weight in my chest. Listening, I took my healing bones into a meditation tent and cried and wept and released all of the fear and shock that had accumulated during the week of being sick. This, I realized, was also yoga. This was me showing up on the mat of my life to feel what was happening. This was me tending to my physical, emotional, and spiritual reality. And as I released many tears, I knew I was moments closer to my next practice. Heck, I was inside my practice and tending to an emotional child’s pose, holding the small self that had reawakened old fears, coaxing her to come back into the strength of my adult body.