Wednesday, June 29, 2011

coming back home

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.

Yup. 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.


  1. Om my Goddess! As your teacher I was amazed at how much you could actually do physically after such a radical process with the body. I was so shocked and lovingly amazed at your presence when you walked through the door to take my class after such a short amount of time since your surgery. I wished at times that it could have been just you and me in the class so I could pay more attention to your process but I trust you and knew that you would take care of yourself too! Thanks for coming to class and yes, it is astounding how the body can heal, isn't it? Honor it and your emotional process as well. I'm so proud of you! What a loving and heroic act, your donation. This experience is sure to enrich your life!
    With Love, Joy and Devotion,
    Betsy xoxo

  2. You are truly the ESSENCE of the Practice, Divine One! Bowing to your Lotus feet and UNBELIEVABLE Bhakti Heart. Can't wait to have you in class...Jai MAAAAAAA