Smell’s GoodDecember 28, 2008
Unexpected FriendsFebruary 16, 2009
If I’m to listen to my body, as any seasoned yogi would, which part do I heed?
Various shrieks from my hamstring tendon shout, “Injury here, don’t move.”
At the same time, the rest of my anatomy hollers out over the pain. “Be strong,” it says. “With PD, if you stop moving, you might stop moving.”
I feel as though I’m stuck between two radio frequencies, drifting between them depending on where I’m standing in the room. As the spasms in the back of that leg ease up a bit, I’m tuned in to a classical station, and can head for the gym without too much clamor. When the heavy metal band takes over, I’m back to the freezer for another ice pack, overwhelmed by the throbbing beat.
You overdid it, I’d say, all but wagging a finger at myself for my mishap. Until the next time the soft violins take over and I get back on my bike, just to succumb to the heated pulse of regret. After several rounds of the pushing-and-admonishing pattern, I realized I wasn’t getting stronger. I was riding in a rut. But what else could I do?
And therein was my path.
Focusing on the do of “what else could I do,” I overlooked the else. Yoga is about strength, yes, as well as flexibility. But so much of it – of life – is about balance. What my body was telling me wasn’t that I had to choose one of the stations. It was alerting me to the cacophony.
I’ve added more balance poses to my morning practice. Off the mat, I’m discovering less static and noise now that I switched my attention from the radio dial to an awareness of the harmony between motion and stillness.