Last weekend, I started the New Year with two wonderful yoga classes – a yin class on Saturday, which I combined with an additional twenty minutes of restorative yoga on my own right after, and an extra long savanasa to top it off, and on Sunday a very active warming yoga practice with lots of deep stretches. Then, I put my yoga membership on hold for four weeks.
It was absolutely required as I had surgery on Tuesday to have a benign fibroadenoma removed from my right breast. This was actually my fourth fibroadenoma, and the third time having this surgery (the first two were removed in the first surgery) so I know that this means I will not be doing any sort of of upper body yoga for 2-3 weeks, and then will need another week to ease into it through a home practice. On top of that, the incision for this particular surgery is in a spot that makes doing any sort of forward draping or folding particularly contra-indicated.
Despite knowing all of this, putting my membership on hold made me surprisingly sad. While I have been working towards a more consistent yoga practice for years, I somehow missed the fact that I had actually sort of achieved that this past year. Sure there are many Tuesday nights where all I can muster is child’s pose or savasana to meet my Tuesday Night Yoga promise, and many weeks the only reason I made it to three yoga classes is that I took a yin class, a regular flow yoga class and a restorative yoga class crammed into two days (yin on Saturday afternoon, and the other two on Sunday in the early evening). There were also weeks where I made it to just 1 or 2 yoga classes and never unrolled my mat a home. In light of all that, it never occurred to me I had a consistent yoga practice.
Yet the feeling of loss I experienced made me actually go home an assess just how much yoga I had done in the last year. Turns out, somehow, despite several very draining months at work, over 3 weeks out of town, a trip to the ER in July that meant two weeks off any yoga or working out, and a sinus infection in October, I practiced yoga in a class or workshop setting (whether intense flow, restorative or yin) about 130 times in 2010. This completely shocked me. I had not realized the number had grown quite so much.
There are several factors I can point to – last January, a glitch meant that I had two active class passes expiring at the same time, which meant I had 5 weeks to use up 17 yoga classes. Then, I had the opportunity to purchase someone else’s annual membership for her remaining three months. I had always been curious whether a flat membership would work better for me, and was grateful for the opportunity to try it out. Much to my surprise, I found myself going to more yoga classes because, with the membership, I never had that feeling of “do I want to use up a class on my class pass even though I am tired and headachy and may not feel up to a full class” – the beauty of the membership is that the one time I really was too tired to get through a whole class, I left, without feeling like I had wasted a class on my pass. And many other times, I went to a class anyways, and was able to get through it, even if I did spend some amount of time child’s pose. Additionally, having a flat membership means that I go to restorative yoga almost weekly which, again, I would not necessarily do if I had to use up a class on my class pass to do that.
So overall, while I was still sad about having to put my membership on hold, the feeling of loss actually made me realize that, without really being of aware of it, I had met an ongoing goal. Which was kind of terrific. Actually, really terrific. Especially, because my other ongoing goal (to work out more at the gym and outside) was very much put on hold in favor of my goal to have a consistent yoga practice.
That’s ok, though, I know I will become very well acquainted with the reclining bike at my gym in the coming weeks. Lower body exercise is absolutely what I should focus on, especially exercise that keeps me very stable and not, for want of a better word, jiggling. Both of the last surgeries ultimately resulted in me not working out or doing yoga at all for months after. I hope to not lose momentum in the same way this time, though now I can look back at the steadiness of my yoga practice last year to remind myself that I can get back there.
My last few days involved a lot of sleeping and time at home relaxing with journal, magazines and stationery. And meeting up for lunch with Gena of Choosing Raw! It was such a treat to meet her. I promise a recap tomorrow, but in the meantime, here is Gena’s recap.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers