As part of my program of personal wellness I have been taking a yoga class here at the clinic for the past year. It fits with my schedule and because it is a morning class helps positively to determine my mood for the rest of the day.
I have always bemoaned my lack of flexibility, especially in my hamstrings and hips. It has seemed that even if I were to hold a stretch for a whole day, nothing substantial would change. This is perhaps one reason why I had never taken to yoga previously and had dismissed myself as a hopeless case.
What I have noticed through perseverance and the brilliant motivational teaching of Miriam, our Friday morning yoga teacher, that I am gradually making progress. Gone is my tendency to compare myself with others who it has seemed are much more flexible.
If a position is uncomfortable, I notice that I tend to hold my breath as if, in so doing, the problem will dissipate. I notice that when something is uncomfortable, either physically or emotionally, one has a tendency to hold the breath. That is not useful. I need to bring fresh oxygen to the area - to breathe in and, on the out-breath, to release the tension and to find that place of new suppleness.
Miriam talks about developing a spirit of curiosity. That place of curiosity is a place of playfulness and that should never end, especially with the approach of middle age. Remain young in body, mind and spirit. Well, I am curious. When I returned to school to study shiatsu therapy back in 1992, I remember that it was like learning to play again. I had found my passion and my source of delight, and it felt really good.
This has all been a part of exploring who I am and where I am going. It is also an important part of taking care of myself that will enable me to meet the challenges ahead with greater ease.