Yesterday I saw my super cool surgeon for my second post-surgery check up. Armed with questions, he cleared me for tattoos, bike riding (as long as it's not uphill), colonics (he also said colonoscopies are fine, not that that's on my to-do list), vitamins, driving, and yoga.
And so, I went to my first class.
My practice pants were slightly tight. The 2 weeks of carbo loading is starting to catch up. I slowly walked to the studio in sweltering heat, conscious of conserving energy I'd need. I even took the elevator that regularly breaks down as the stairs would have been too much.
My teacher did a double take when she saw me and then just beamed. Part of me that had been frozen for the past 3 weeks started to melt a bit as I unfurled my carnation pink mat in the back row.
I sat. And it was not comfortable. My back ached before chanting even started. I was acutely aware at how much trauma my body had suffered and the toll it had taken as discomfort bordering on pain radiated down from my shoulder blades.
But as I took a deep breath and a collective OM filled the studio, tears slid down my checks.
I couldn't stop smiling. And silently crying. Since surgery this part of my life that's grown to mean so much went missing. I couldn't find it myself. The calm and peace I'd found through the practice had disappeared.
Only it hadn't. It was more that I'd forgotten how to find it.
We started to move. My body was home. I know these poses so well I slid easily into the practice. Up to a certain point. Turns out there's much I can't do. Basic basics are beyond me at the moment. Holding a plank pose caused abdominal aches deep inside. Being flat on my belly was far too uncomfortable. Anything arching my back felt wrong. Side plank? I was acutely aware of how my strength had been compromised. And so, I compromised. I did what I could and let myself be fine with that.
There were moments I forgot my body wasn't fine. My hands still easily reached the floor. Warrior poses and triangle (my favorite) felt right. My balance was spot on.
At a certain point, as deep twisting began and my middle blatantly refused to go there, I quietly rolled up my mat and left the class. Turns out I'd made it 3/4 of the way through, lasting far longer than I'd ever imagined I would.
As I slowly, slowly walked home I let amazement and gratitude take over.
Three weeks and one day post-op I was back in the flow. Modified, but delicious nonetheless.
Yet again, my body blows me away.