Reflection: Yoga and Getting Over It

OMG you guys!  I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post and it is just a vortex of weirdness.  So you’ve been warned.

What is it about this time of the year?  Tradition would have it that January 2 is our Reflection Time but I’ve found that I’m too busy trying not to freeze to death to worry overmuch about Life and Moving Forward.  In January, Moving Forward is perilous, indeed, with all the ice-covered driveways and sidewalks out there.

For me, weather plays a huge part in Reflection Time and the swing upwards, which should be a time of celebration, is often depressing as hell.  I suspect that’s because it’s not really Spring, not yet anyway – our skies are leaden, it is HOLLERIN’ cold with that sharp, clear light that reminds us that Nature is Nobody’s Friend.  Again.  OKAY, Nature.  I get it.  Every bone and joint I have is hurting like crazy, I’m wondering why my old, busted self  even exists and the Pity Party is in full swing.  I’m sitting here, with Joao Gilberto bouncing ‘Bim Bom’ – and you know what?  It. Ain’t. Helping.  if ‘Bim Bom’ ain’t helping, there may be no help to be found right now.  But, in truth, there is.   I was reading a particularly relevant post in Yoga for Healthy Aging, , called ‘Never Enough’ about attachment to how things should be (how we wish they were/how they were/ etc)  Jill writes (about experiencing changes in her mind/body following a bout of Lyme Disease):

This is a subtle form of attachment—specifically, attachment to the way things were. We could—and some do—spend a lot of time lamenting the way our bodies looked or felt before we reached a particular age, or received a certain illness or injury, and it’s really beneficial to notice this so that we aren’t buying into wishing it were different so much as to cause ourselves incredible stress and sorrow.

One of the pivotal teachings of the Buddha was how everything in conditioned phenomena is impermanent. This means not just outer things like the chair you might be seated on or your Grandmothers favorite teacup, but also our body and the contents of mind, including thoughts, memories, feelings, ideas, and mental energy, and stamina. 

and reading that makes me feel simultaneously irked, saddened – and reassured.   The barometric swoop is wreaking havoc on my joints, my sacrum is still a bit cocked and for the first time in my life I realize that I am no longer 30 – for realz!  It’s scary.  And it’s pissing me off.  But….it’s also reassuring.  It seems to be a natural progression of age – that part where you have to stop and think about what your place is in the Timeline.  I don’t think human nature allows us to just go gently – we have to rail against it for awhile  – and nothing gives you rail fodder like an illness or injury (omg – if you have time please do read the linked post – the Guy and the 6 Flights of Stairs is priceless! I am him.)

Normally I would rail against this and try HORD to ‘fix’ it (work harder!  exercise more! DO something) but you know what?  I’mo let it go for awhile.  No fretting about barely being able to walk, not gardening, not doing more for my business, Not Liking My Life.  I’m going to just go with whatever flow happens to be flowing (assuming that flow isn’t leading me off a cliff.  I just want to relax, not plunge to my death!).

I took a NAP today!  That I had to actually force myself to do so – on a Sunday (and Easter Sunday at that) should give you some idea of the iron grip I try to keep on myself.  And how silly is that?  It’s Sunday, all my Monday work is set up, all my Sunday work is, too, for that matter.  And I was exhausted – so.  Nap.  The funny part?  Nobody BUT me thought it was weird.  The Girl?  Snogged out in her room – she naps as her body tells her to.  El O?  Napping is his jam!  So.  I thought I would try it.  I LIKED IT!

I’ve mentioned Yoga for Healthy Aging here before but  I need to mention it again, as they saved my sanity (and possibly my life) when I took that horrible fall on the ice a few years ago.  If you have injury, or are just …aging…I urge you to check out their blog www.yogaforhealthyaging.blogspot.com  – Nina, Baxter, Shari and their team ……omg.   I owe them my life.  And it’s simple things that help, like the aforementioned article about how to manage your body’s perceived ‘betrayal’ as you age.  If you’re of a certain age, it’s invaluable.  If you’re young, check it out anyway – when you get older you’ll be able to pull that memory out of your bank (if you’re lucky) and you’ll be glad you did (though you guys will probably have nanobots to fix all sorts of things! )

 

Oooh!  and they just published a wonderful book!  GREAT bedside reading – I just lent my copy to a neighbor who is having balance issues.  Reading it (and learning that her balance issues are not some precursor to disaster) has really helped her.  It’s the little things.

In the meantime, in appreciation for your reading this rambling post, drop a comment – let me know how you’re doing.  I’ll have Everybody’s Favorite Behemoth poke a pawnail at a name or two and we’ll send a few winners some goodies!

and don’t feel too sorry for me – I just got an email from Culver’s.  It’s LEMON ICE season again!  Hope springs!

 

 

42 Comments

  1. Omg, this was a great post/lecture to me right now. I am still limping after hurting my knee. By getting up one morning! Not fair. And then the hip hurts because the knee throws it into another dimension. So then the ankle….. I’m falling apart! But I am working on my assigned exercises and will check ou the yoga. Thanks for the pep talk.

    • Pam! Ow! I feel ya, truly. And the cascade…so irritating, innit? Check out YFHA – it’ll change your life! xoxox

  2. I started yoga again after a 15 year lapse in December of 2016 to deal with depression and anxiety. It has helped both of those things, as well as helped me recover better strength and balance. I go 4-5 times a week and it feels extremely valuable to me. Even when I don’t feel like it, I make myself go. Maintaining your body is a job after 40.

    • I love how it helps with depression and anxiety! Glad it’s helping you! xoxoxo

  3. I am finding that recovery from strenuous activity or sleeping wrong takes longer as I age and it makes mw frustrated so this post was very timely for me. Just signed up for emails and am exploring the blog so thank you for your rambling post!

    • it’s all relative, innit? I remember almost freezing to death in March in LA. Huddled in a winter coat, while palm trees swayed! lol! xoxoxo

  4. I love your posts so much Musette. I’m only 39, but I deal every day with chronic knee issues and pelvic organ prolapse. I’m intentionally naming the latter because women tend not to out of shame, which needs to change as so many women go through it. Thanks for the wonderful link and sharing such a great quote. And perfume. For me, the sensual experience of just smelling perfume still makes it all okay, even if just for a few minutes.

    • A patient recently told me about a great website for pelvic floor rehab exercises called hab-it.com. Their tutorials aren’t free, but about $12-13, I think, and she says it has worked wonders.

    • thanks for sharing! I talk about my fibroids as if they were my roommates – because, in the realest sense they are! Wishing you much better health, going forward! xoxoxoxo

  5. Lovely articles (yours and Never Enough). The good thing is, when we become aware of the change, we have plenty of time to work on it and reconcile the past and the present…if we want to, of course. Fighting it only makes it worse.

  6. Great post Musette! You are so right about looking at your timeline and human nature not to go without a fight. I used to do stupid stuff like dropping a transmission on my chest or lifting a cylinder head off an engine bent over the fender. Now I have to hire someone to help me with car repair. I rode motorcycles for 40 years. I had to stop that because my reaction time and eyesight is not what it used to be. Then there is menopause. Yes, MEN get it too, and never talk about it out of shame. Hot flashes and slowed down metabolism and “good Lord, where did those A cups come from”. I am already doing lots more walking and I will also have to go back to Yoga after a 10 year absence. Naps on weekends are helpful at keeping my sanity! I am done fighting all this, it is now time to deal with it.

    • Andropause! And yes, I think ‘dealing’ rather than ‘fighting’ is the way to go! Though I still ride – but I ride a Road King – we don’t go all that fast! 😉 xoxo

  7. Wonderful, wonderful post Musette!! I have a bum knee and now my hip joints are a bit hurty. I have been thinking about needing to get back to yoga for a while now (I went regularly to a yoga class in my 40s). I see that the Universe is telling me to get on with it! I’ll get the book, too. Thank you. XOXOXOXOX Naps are good…

    • E, I urge you to check out YFHA – those hips? They’ll fix ’em right up. Sweatergawd! xoxoxo

  8. Reading this I can hear you saying it all Musette and can imagine the gestures and actions that go with hot all. Like a little piece of you on the page.
    LOVED IT.
    Portia xxx

    • LOL! That’s ’cause yew KNOWS me, bay-bee! xoxoxoxo

  9. Yoga is great, but so dependent on the instructor. I have been going to a Saturday morning class that is convenient for me, but started to realize that my hips and sacrum were getting progressively sorer and I am going to need to switch. Luckily, the outdoor yoga-in-the-park classes are going to start back up and those worked really well for me.

    • I agree – and it’s why I recommend YFHA – I know them personally, one of them is an MD and they know their stuff! Check out the blog, see what you think! xoxoxo

  10. You convinced me. This is exactly the words I needed to get started on the yoga train. I actually pulled out a few yoga books from my dusty shelf and put them on my coffee table on Easter as a reminder that I’ve wanted to do this for years now and this is the sign that I needed. That link you provided is GREAT. Thank you for this much needed kick in the arse!

  11. As a long-time devotee of Sundays I’ve discovered it sometimes helps to have a practice nap on Saturday. 😉 Spring is lovely here but a pollen tsunami washed over me last week. I am allergic to most of it. Leaving town Friday to see if it helps. Spring. Sigh.

    • what is this SPRING of which you speak? It’s freakin’ 20F here! xoxoxo

      • Portland, OR has a short winter and short summer. Long fall, long spring. Spring, the pink season. So beautiful. So deadly. I’m tellin’ ya. They need to spray flonase around the entire city. from mid-March to mid-May at least. Twenties sounds pretty good right now. Or nineties.

  12. I am not ready to embrace this whole aging thing either at 58, but I realize the little nagging voice in my head telling me to don’t eat that or….get your lazy butt up and do something actually is a very smart nagging voice with only my interests at heart. I just need to listen better! ?

  13. I hear you on the woes of an aging bod. I took a barre workout class for the first time this winter, and it was not a good match for my ability. I was imagining a serene ballet barre class, but it was an intense calisthenics class with weights in a dance studio. Had almost no relation to dance or ballet. I think I need to go back to doing yoga, at the beginning level. Maybe remedial yoga. Or chair yoga. I’m gonna check out the site/book you recommended, Anita. Thanks!

    • Gosh, that sounds BRUTAL! I am SO over brutal. I like the idea of remedial yoga! lol! xoxox

  14. I’m soooo loving your post, Musette. It’s been a different world for me post- sciatica-inducing injury two years ago, and the things that are most helpful, like zazen and gentle yoga (not to be confused with the way my practice looked before all this), im not always up for. It’s getting easier to work with, but still always a challenge. Big applause for you for learning to be gentle with your self, and learning a new way to cope with all the things. ?

    • I hate sciatica like a mongoose hates a snake! Glad you are working towards health! xoxoxo

  15. Love this point – I could have written myself but it wouldn’t have been as funny .Aging…sigh.

  16. Loved the post! About non-attachment, it’s what got me through the death of a dear friend 10 years ago. I kept going on about all things we had been going to do, and that this wasnt the way it was supposed to be. But I pretty quickly came to the realization that it didnt matter in the slightest what I thought – this was the way it was. It helped so much. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Oh, my very dear! My heart both hurts and rejoices for you! xoxoxo

  17. I am feeling this! Just had a big snowstorm in Minneapolis, and I hurt my back shoveling that wet, spring snow — I am definitely not 30! But lying still to ice my back has forced me to slow down and, well, lie still. Who knew how much I needed that?

    • well! apparently that snow knew! Next time, hire one of those 12yrs olds who come to the door! xo

      • and…I don’t envy y’all At All! My fam in N. WI said 11inches? WTH? xoxox

  18. Musette, I love reading your posts so much. This one is especially pertinent to me right now. I’m 30, and have been suffering from a number of foot problems over the past two years. I’ve been spending an awful lot of time lately lamenting the loss of my pre-28yo feet/body. Maybe it’s time for me to feel less sorry for myself 🙂

    • well, dagNABBIT, honey! A) thank you and B) dagNABBIT! on the feet. xoxoxoA

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