are we Catholic?

I know that I have been…well….a little out of contact lately.  The holiday season is known for its ability to throw even the most sane and steady person into a stressed out ball of cheese covered in nuts….lots of nuts.  If your anything like me, or have a family situation anything like mine (and yoga has taught me that we are more connected and alike than not) this time of year can bring you to your knees or in my case to the doctor with massive headaches, unrelenting insomnia, and what feels like vertigo.  The mere mention of yoga practice causes great concern to the doc.  He goes into full-blown alarm about the possible loss of blood flow to my brain from all those leg behind head positions, unsupported shoulder stands, and the 7 deadly headstands and orders CT scans, and a cervical spine ultra sound all the while still dizzy.  I am trying to keep practice up but one sun salutation feels like I downed a whole bottle of wine.

While I was visiting a friend in the DC area she told me that one of her teachers has NEVER missed a day of asana practice, NOT ONE she boasted.  I didn’t pry, but really not one missed flu practice, not on the day his baby was born.  I started to think about my current situation feeling drunk while completely sober, feeling like my head is going to explode, and sleeping as if I have a new-born in my life….like never.

Am I a terrible Ashtangi?  Should I hand my authorization back in shame?  Do we revere martyrdom?  Are we Catholic????

I am not jumping on a plane to Mysore to hang my spinning head in shame.  What I am doing is taking some medication (insert gasp here) to make the room stop spinning, trying to SURVIVE what is left on my Christmas nightmare and hopping on a plane on Tuesday to spend the New Year again in another country but this time with my husband!

Good bye 2011.

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5 Responses to are we Catholic?

  1. You’re doing just fine! People who never stop practicing just have a lot of fear of losing what they have. Guess what? You’re not going to lose it – not even in months. And any strength and flexibility can be worked back – trust me – I almost had 2 months of non-correct method practice-non-practice this year. Yeah, the back was tweaky for awhile but it comes back – no problems. And better than before!
    You also know that every body is different, and that practicing every day and abusing yourself and not practicing ahimsa from your own body is not going to be better than taking a little (or A LOT!) of rest and enjoying yourself and life (hard to do when everything’s reeling!!).
    Don’t worry, enjoy the holidays, time off, the new experiences life gives you, and maybe you can find time to talk to a priest while in the UK! 😉 Ho ho ho! Aho! Miss you!! XOXO

  2. Rebecca says:

    I agree completely… It’s a good point Andrea makes about the fear of losing what we have. As if our days and days and days of practice will, poof!, disappear. What?? As if our strong bodies and yoga itself were this ephemeral kind of mystery that could go away and not come back. It’s a self-loving pledge to keep it up, and it’s a head game to berate ourselves for missing days because of sickness, dizziness, fatigue…or just, whatever. I think that when we get all caught up in the purity, the compulsion…we are missing it. And I am just as guilty…I, too, am sometimes faced with these questions of how “good” of an Ashtangi I am because of “this” or “that” morning missed on the mat. Before I had my first baby, I was so painfully worried that practice would just leave me, that I would get through my 6 post-partum weeks and find weakness and the empty, echoing space of where my practice used to be. Not. at. all. There it was, waiting…patiently, kindly. Your practice, Jill, is carved deeply into your cells, into the memory of your muscles, and there it lives waiting for your return.

  3. Ellie says:

    Oh Jill I hope you feel better soon! Yes to everything Andrea and Rebecca said. xo

  4. eek! says:

    Ugh that stinks! I think you need to do what your body tells you and if practice is not there, it’s ok. Have safe travels and happy holidays! oxox

  5. Sara says:

    Jill, I just now read this and hope that all is well with you now. A woman who has been practicing for decades comes to teach at our shala periodically. She gave a talk about how there are times in your life that you need to back off or slow down (for her this somehow means ‘just doing the primary series without vinyasa’) or even take some days off. Maybe all you can do for a few weeks is a walking mediation. Practice changes. All the time. Yoga is more a way of life than a series of asana…and ahimsa is the first part.

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