Six months after my second and last cancer surgery, I walked into a yoga class at my local Y. I had never done yoga before in my life, but, by the end of the class, I was smitten. That was over a year and a half ago and I still faithfully attend that class twice a week. I wish I could say the same about my home yoga practice.
Before we built a small den off the back of our house last year I really didn’t have space to do yoga at home. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to design the room to accommodate my practice. The sound system is iPod ready and there is a soft rug on the floor. I deliberately designed a coffee table out of three stools, so I could easily move them out of the way for my mat. I was set.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I kept up with my daily practice. Although I have the desire, for some reason I haven’t made the time for the past several months. I have a home office and tend to start working before I’ve even eaten breakfast. And once I start, I find it hard to stop. Recently, the few times I’ve successfully done yoga at home were the result of a firm resolve to walk past the computer and into the den first, before I got sucked into the vortex of work.
I don’t know why I’ve been resistant, because I love yoga at home. It’s just my body and my thoughts in my space. I go at my own pace, doing the poses I want to do. It’s a true pleasure. I feel both energized and calmer when I walk out of there. It’s definitely “me time.”
Yesterday I made the effort to prioritize yoga. I moved the stools, laid out my mat and started warming up. I was coming out of a downward dog and into a lunge when it happened: a leaf blower suddenly roared into life, completely startling me. I looked out the window, saw the head of someone standing right outside and fell out of my lunge and down onto my thumb, bending it backwards. I couldn’t believe I sprained it – it was my first ever yoga injury.
I live in suburbia – the land of the leaf blower. Between work, family life and what’s going on outside my windows, there are noises and distractions all around me. That’s why I usually don’t do yoga at home in the first place – too many other things competing for my attention. Now the sound of a leaf blower actually knocked me out of a pose and onto the floor.
Although it’s not a living thing, I’m trying to see the connection between me and that leaf blower. Maybe it’s just a reminder that there will always be distractions so I need to see them as excuses rather than reasons for the choices I make. If I want a home yoga practice, I have to make the time despite the leaf blowers all around me.
I’m going back into my den today to enjoy my yoga practice. My thumb still hurts, but I realize I used my “injury” as validation for quitting yoga early and getting back to work. Ironically, I kept putting off yoga yesterday, while I was trying to figure out what to post today. I finally gave up, knowing I would be better off giving my mind a yoga rest. Who could have predicted a leaf blower would show up and give me the answer?
Discovering yoga is one of my most cherished gifts of cancer. That doesn’t mean, however, that I always take the time to honor its presence in my life. Do you struggle with prioritizing your gifts of cancer?
Survival > Existence,