Time for a little honesty.
More than five times a day right now, I think to myself “I wish we hadn’t come to India this year.”
My yoga practice is the only thing holding me on this beautiful and wretched subcontinent. But sometimes that’s not enough.
I realize I’m blessed to be here, to have this time to work closely with my teacher and get a nice tan, but even so, I’m struggling and I wish I was back home.
Yesterday I barely made it through standing series before I crying. These were the first real tears of the trip. I guess it was just a matter of time. There was no specific trigger per se, just the overload of emotions and fatigue. Simply standing there breathing in samasthithi was enough to open the floodgates.
I’ve had this low-grade headache for almost a week now. It comes in waves but is ever-present. Not surprisingly, this has significantly lowered my tolerance for just about everything. I’m feeling super sensitive and I’m finding that my feelings are getting hurt left and right.
By now, I’ve resigned myself to my modified practice. I’m not expecting to make massive leaps and bounds this trip. I’m not concerned with getting new poses or deepening my backbends.
Honestly, with my SI pain the way it is, I’m lucky if I can do supported dropbacks at all. And that’s fine.
David is helping me work with my condition, to build strength and stability. I’m barely doing kapotasana (DG says it’s “irrelevant” right now, which is kind of amazing. I wish it was always so!). Instead I’m spending time each day squeezing a rubber ball between my thighs like crazy as I slowly and cautiously repeat and hold ustrasana and laghu vajrasana.
Despite my relative patience and acceptance of this time of injury, it’s still kind of lame to be the gimp when so many people around me are getting new poses, pushing themselves to deeper levels and then discussing the intricacies and challenges of their new asanas all the time.
Today I finally snapped at Thad, “I don’t want to hear about how hard galavasana is one more time! I don’t give a sh*t!!!!”
Yea, I know, best little wifey ever, right? But seriously, come on, of course it’s hard, it’s fricking third series, it’s supposed to be hard!
Okay, here’s another thing.
On our third full day here, I checked my email for the first time and received some news that really shook me up. It was so upsetting initially that I became dizzy, nauseous and very faint. I’m Victorian like that. If my corset was any tighter I probably would have fainted then and there.
Since then, I’ve experienced a roller coaster of emotions from diabolical rage, disgust and panic to utter hopelessness, resignation and disinterested apathy. Over the past few days, this situation keeps returning to me, at times making me very sad and upset but then passing over, leaving me complacent and empty inside.
Often in life it seems like we get to a place with one of our personal challenges where we think we’ve “won”, when we believe we have finally learned the lesson we needed to learn, experienced the growth necessary to move on and it’s now over. But this can be misleading. For me, I’ve found that often I resolve an issue only to a certain degree, when, tired of the work involved, I push the emotional remnants under the carpet, disengage or deny it all, under the guise that I’m practicing non-attachment. I temporarily forget or ignore the issue, until life throws it back up at me with a wicked vengeance.
This is what is happening now.
It’s easier the second or third time around of course. I’ve spent so much psychic and emotional energy unpacking it, contemplating, trying to learn and forgive. That work was not in vain, but it’s not finished either.
In this sense, I’m thanking my lucky stars that I’m on the other side of the world during all this. I’m kind of glad I’m not easily accessible to my family. I’m extra glad I don’t have access to a phone. So much less damage is occurring because of my absence.
This distance is giving me the space and time I need to find balance and acceptance.
My yoga practice is offering me the opportunity to process these difficult emotions, to work through the pain and hurt.
Processing is not easy work. And being in India is not easy either. It’s as if this place purposefully confronts you with your shortcomings and challenges. There’s no escaping it.
But, as we often say,
“Better out than in.”
Here’s to working it out…