Dear Lynda Beth,
Ana doesn’t believe in child pose (she calls it Embryo,) so there is never a safe ball to curl into .
She does believe in running energy through your hands. She teaches us how to see and feel with our hands.
So whenever I felt like I couldn’t physically go on this week, I put my hands on my belly or heart or whatever part of my body is screaming for mercy and sent my deepest breath. Yes-many times that was my brain.
My deepest breath is the best tool I have. When stuff is out of my control, it is the breath which brings me to my center. A high quality breath feeds our innate wisdom instead of our neurosis.
In deep split today, a pose which my ego loves that she can do, the assistant Cat came over to me and put her hand on my belly.
Relax your belly like you are emptying out marbles, she said.
Really? I said. I always hold it in.
My inner thighs were being stretched to their limit. A fire spot.
Its time for you to relax it. There is so much wisdom in your lower belly.
Ok, I said to her, but inside I thought if I let my belly completely go, I will come undone.
During group Q and A time, I asked Ana if I work too hard in my practice.
I feel like I do, I said. I don’t want to work less. Its just I’m not making progress.
As I ask this question, shame takes over. I feel bad for taking up class time to ask a question about myself. So many others have injuries; back, neck, and wrist pain. I have no injuries. Except my angry red patchy skin.
Ana stands up and comes sits in front of me.
She tells me to start nourishing myself. Its not about my how I work in my practice. Its about how I take care of myself in my life.
Find things to do that nourish you, she said. Small things.
I think about how I want to do the gentle hike up Case Mountain with my dog and look down over the Hartford horizon. I want to sing more with Matt when he plays his guitar. I want to roast butternut squash. Maybe those are the small things.
Maybe its the small things that make up a life. Not the big things like owning a studio or writing a book.
Its the small everyday things along the way.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. This line from a Mary Oliver poem is tattooed across my back. Many people take it to mean that I am anti-prayer or anti-worship. I smile when they say this because its meaning is the opposite.
The next line of the poem, which is not inked on my body is this:
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields…
And this is what Ana was suggesting I do.
Lynda-blogging to you daily has been a way to pray.
It would have been so much easier in my exhaustion to curl up into a ball.
Im so glad I didn’t.
By the way, my skin is healing.