I had my first class today.

Welcome, new semester!

More specifically, I had my first yoga class today.

I was dubious about my ability to really participate today, as last night was a rough night. I went to bed a few hours earlier than normal (or what's become my normal, heh), but I didn't end up falling asleep until just after my normal bedtime due to pain. I finally broke down and took the one painkiller mom gave me from her stash the hospital gave her, but I didn't feel that it did anything... except maybe knock me out for a while? After 3 hours I was awake again, needing to eat and still in pain. I took care of that and was able to fall back asleep, but by the time I had to crawl out of bed to get to class on time I was still sooooo tired! And in pain. All over.

So, as you see, I was dubious. To say the least.

However, the teacher advocates an interesting philosophy, one that had me going, "Aha! I knew I was meant to be here!" It was like a message from God/the universe/my dead auntie/whatever. (I don't think I actually have a dead auntie, come to think of it...)

She emphasized "honoring your practice". What does that mean? Well, she explained during various parts of the session that every day is different-- our balance will be different, our energy levels, our mental state, etc. We need to acknowledge where we are that day, accept it, and work within those limits. Can I hold a position a certain day but not another? That's okay. I need to listen to my body and honor what it is saying to me, to find the balance that is right for me, no matter what anyone else in the class is doing. If the teacher takes us from a forward fold to a floor sit but I feel that I need to hold the fold for a few more seconds, then I need to hold the fold for a few more seconds. If we're sitting in a certain pose but my body is saying "No way!", then I need to adjust and find a way to honor my practice.

It is precisely that type of theory that I am trying to put into practice in my every day life. For me, every day is different in so many aspects-- pain levels, energy levels, nausea levels, emotional state, things to accomplish... Every day has its own balance. I need to honor my practice and find the balance within each and every day, within every moment. It doesn't matter what anyone else is doing or saying. I need to find my balance and honor what I am telling myself. I need to trust myself.

This dovetails perfectly with what I was learning in my last round of counseling about unreasonable expectations and being kind to myself.

I'm really glad that I chose to take this class. Did it hurt? Heck yes! I tried not to push myself too hard, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was able to keep up. My physical sense of balance is better than I thought it was, which was gratifying.

I am looking forward to continuing to learn and apply this practice of honoring my practice, both in and out of class.

(One problem, though... despite the pain, I'm so relaxed after class that it's hard to function! lol A good problem to have, I suppose...)

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