Back to the Physical Practice of Yoga

Christina Souza Ma
Stretching the HamstringThe first time back to the physical practice of yoga doesn’t always feel good – I can sure attest to that!

As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, I’ve been having some bodywork performed on me so that my body would be a little more open to returning to the physical practice of yoga after being away from it for over a year.

Even though I’ve been doing some asanas in my personal practice, it still hasn’t been the same as being in a class where you can connect with the energies of others who are moving forward in their practice.

Although I couldn’t fit in another session of bodywork this week, I’d continued to work on myself, targeting the opening of my shoulders that had issues from carrying and nursing my son.

This morning, I had my first class and, as I prepared to leave the house, I could feel a sense of anxiety – I couldn’t really call it excitement. I felt a definite knot in my stomach as I contemplated returning to class again after such a long time. What was this going to feel like? Was I going to feel uncomfortable and perhaps be in pain? I knew that I was not as flexible as I’d been a year ago as I could feel the tightness all over my body.

As I got into my car and began to drive, my anxiety level increased. My mind began going places that I wished it wouldn’t go to, as it was just increasing my anxiety level. Judgment, judgment, judgment!  Arrgghhh! I would just have to bring all this energy into the space with me.

You may be wondering why I hadn’t been to class for over a year. Was I procrastinating all this time? No, not at all. I wish I could have been fortunate enough to return to class much earlier, but life’s journey had taken me on a course that was a whirlwind – a Tsunami. It’s only now that I have been able to carve out the time to return to my yoga class.

I entered the room and tried to settle back into my usual routine. But I found myself having trouble with little things that had been automatic for me in the past. It seemed I couldn’t even unroll my mat correctly. My mind was totally consumed by the Tsunami that I had been living in. I felt totally awkward being still. How could it be like this when I could do it all at home? My frustration and anxiety level increased. Oh no.

The class began. To my relief, the instructor was absolutely wonderful (and I will be writing a whole other blog on just that part of the experience).  But as for me? Breathing – how was I supposed to do that? What happened? Breathing used to be so fluid and natural for me during classes. I thought I was just going to be contending with tight muscles and not having flexibility, but no. I’d forgotten how to breathe through during my asana. This was the major surprise for me.  I had become so tight in every way.

Life and its stresses had been absorbed so deeply into my being that even I didn’t realize the extent that it was having on me. As I moved through class, I could feel my emotions begin to release themselves through my movements. My eyes welled up with tears as my body began to find its way through my breathing again. Part of my body felt strong, while other parts trembled as I held the poses.

What was also amazing to me was how slowly the time went by. I could remember when an hour and a half of class time was too short for me, but now the hour and 15 minutes moved at a snail’s pace. Did I really want the class to end? I hesitated on my answer….

Finally we did come to the end. Shivasana. Aaaaaah…my body and mind said. It’s finally over – but why do I still feel so restless? The Tsunami was still whirling about at some level of my subconscious. But at least my body felt great! It had loosened up and was more in tune with me.

Am I looking forward to another class? Well yes – but why am I hesitating with that answer? It’s hard for me to get over the fact that  I couldn’t just pick up and continue where I’d left off over a year ago. This truly is a NEW beginning in yoga for me.

Well, no one ever said it was going to be easy getting back into a routine. But life is a constant journey and every so often it is good to be reminded that every path is a new beginning.

[tags]anxiety over yoga, routine, yoga journey, starting yoga again, physical change, stresses, remembering how to breathe[/tags]

Author: Christina Souza Ma

Christina has lived many lives – from professional Cosmetologist, L’Oreal’s Technical Commercial Director of South East Asia, Hair and Make-up designer behind the camera, to Actor and Body worker. Many years ago, Christina had a vision to create an entity that would

One Response to “Back to the Physical Practice of Yoga”

  1. James says:

    Thanks for sharing. Many people think they should like yoga. That if it is not a pleasant experience they should stay away. Yoga is a journey through our human experience and includes the issues that we are always avoiding and then eventually facing.

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