I’ve been doing yoga on and off for about 20 years now (a statistic that blows my mind…how can it have been 20 years?) and am accustomed to the weird joint angles. But lately my un-friend (RA, and that’s not Raymond Arthur or something cutesy like that) has made those angles less than comfortable to achieve, much less sustain. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea that I might have to add yoga to the list of things that RA has taken from me.
Until I found a style called Yin yoga. I’m in love with yoga again. In this style, the emphasis is on gentle, relatively lengthy stretching of the connective tissues. No balancing, none of those painful downward facing dog positions, and nothing jarring or quick. Just softness, peace, and gently releasing tension from the tendons, spine, and internal organs. Hah– one life activity has been rescued from the greedy un-friend!
The other effects of this practice are more profound. I’m finding that my stress levels are significantly lower, I’m sleeping more deeply, and I don’t have as many headaches. I’m also learning more about who I am and accepting what I like, regardless of other people’s opinions. I have become more assertive in many ways– assertive, not aggressive or passive-aggressive — and am improving the quality of not just my life, but that of my family. My colleagues and students have commented on how patient and thorough I have become and wonder at how I maintain the external appearance of energy and peace. You, my friends, know the secret. It’s al about caring for self so that I have more self to give.
So if mommy is in a weird, somewhat lumpy pretzel-like position on the floor, just step through quietly. Don’t engage, and above all– don’t trip over me. You’ll be thankful.