Happy Monday! I stepped into my 2nd yoga class of 2018. Class provided space for a humbling and empowering realization that I did not see it coming.
During the last few hours, on the last day of my silent meditation, which was the first day of the new year, I hurt my right foot. We required to barefoot in the meditation room the whole weekend. My foot was not- harmed the entire time. Yet, as I was walking to the back of the room, towards a mini gift shop, my baby toe got caught on a chair leg and extended towards the ceiling as I walking. It hurt. I had to hold my breath and pass to get the initial pain to pass. My foot swelled and I had a 4 hour drive back to LA. As I was driving and for a few days I wondered if I had broken my foot. I had to wear slippers to work for a few weeks, because my foot was so swollen, my shoes caused more pain then comfort.
The weekend, following the silent meditation, I went to a Ganesha yoga workshop. To my surprise, this workshop encompassed a mini yoga flow. Crap I thought. My foot is still healing. I was hoping to take notes and meditate at most. Wrong.
If you know anything about Ganesha, you’d know that he is connected to the root chakra. All the poses are about connecting to your body, which tend to be the core and strength poses. Most of the posses can be uncomfortable because the goal is to find comfort within the discomfort. The yoga teacher had a great flow planned, but I had to modify almost the entire flow because my toe was throbbing.
Since that Ganehsa yoga workshop, I have refrained from yoga to allow my foot time to heal. I also was losing motivation to go back to yoga, because of how out of practice I have been. I decided to go to yoga this past Sunday. I planned to go to a gentle yoga classes, but talked myself out of it. But I really wanted to go to yoga, so I decided to go to a vinyasa class because it fit into my schedule and I like the instructor and how he teaches.
I had a bit of dread before class. I haven’t done a lot of yoga since the fall. I know this instructor and he maximizes the hour and flows the whole time with no pauses and he challenges his students through out the class.
I am going to struggle, I thought. I mentally prepared for the struggle. As we started the class, I was was impressed that my body wasn’t as tight as I thought it might be. My strength in my arms didn’t fade, like I thought it had. I didn’t struggle in plank or chaturanga or with the general flow sequence. In fact, my endurance and strength was the best it has ever been in one of his classes. I have never been able to get half way through his class without needing to take several breaks and modify many poses.
As I was flowing with my breath, with ease, in almost a bliss state, which I have been working toward, I reflected on the dread and doubt the moment before class began. I am stronger than I thought I would be right now.
My body has untapped strength, that I have never know, often doubt and don’t acknowledge, but it showed up. I know the depth of my emotional strength and the depth of my physical and emotional pain tolerance, but I didn’t know this strength of my physical body.
Today and for the week, meditate on what untapped strength you have within you. Is there a strength within that longs to breathe and be seen? Do you nurture yourself enough to allow yourself to be vulnerable so that your strength can shine through your doubt? In what ways do you long to be strong? Perhaps you already have that strength within.
Love – Stephanie XO