Today I went to my second yoga class since giving birth and it was awesome. Hard. I have become, in two short classes, one of those people who makes visible faces and sounds to express my efforts as things become challenging. Practicing brings on the biggest non-baby induced joy. Real joy. There has been a lot of hubub in the yoga community in the past 2 weeks. This has prompted the question, again, for me about why yoga is so important. The spicy and wonderful Tony Giuliano, all fresh perspectives and deep thoughts from his recent meditation retreat, started each class by inviting us to go deep. To dive in below the waves of the current situation and practice. Yesterday I was talking to my colleague and friend Brigette about practice. How no matter what, it's always important. There is no point at which (in my world) you say, I'm good, I don't think I need to practice anymore. It's always important. No matter what it is that you do.
Over 2010 I spent a lot of time in Tucson studying, practicing and seriously getting down with a great community around yoga. Someone told me that doing 10 drop backs at the beginning of a practice is a great way to "warm up". No kidding. At that point, my body was capable of doing dropbacks, but I had no idea how to do them without pain, and in fact at all. So I spent the next 3 months, every day, doing 10 dropbacks. Admittedly, I didn't always do them as warm ups. However, I did stand on my mat until they were done. I remember several times that I stood in the basement room at the SAC, where I taught 6:30am classes, for 30 minutes not doing anything except trying to get the courage up to look back and go back.
The funny part is that when I returned to Tucson with my expanded knowledge of drop backs, and feeling pretty proud of myself, my partner in crime said - I never said to do that! (We still dispute exactly how this went down).
So now I'm back at the beginning again. Or I feel like I am anyway. Shaking through the standing poses, heavy breathing at my maximum in backbends, totally pushing the edge of what's possible. And the thing is, I don't even know what's possible. There was a time, once right before I left Africa (and actually the last time that I did drop backs before I got too pregnant) where they were easy. And this is NOT NORMAL for me in backbends. I felt light and spacious. I never thought it would be possible, but for some reason, that once, it was.
So keep the gates open. Keep practicing. Maybe something impossible will happen. I hope it does.