The Dance

Natarajasana - Dancer's Posture (inspiredpractice@wordpress.com)

The bleeding appears to have stopped. Last night I made it to my Yoga class. Poor Julie won’t be taking them for a while; Jake’s death has been a terrible shock. One of Julie’s friends – a lovely lady called Lisa is taking over for a bit. I think everybody in the group wants to keep it going to support Julie – she is such a wonderfully kind and thoughtful person, it’s awful to think that this has happened to her. We all want to be there when she feels ready to come back.

It was lovely to see everyone again – first time since before Christmas. I felt exhausted and headachy before I went but my body and being were absolutely singing by the time the lesson had finished. It felt so good to have such a strong and vigorous stretch. I have been trying to keep up with my practice through the last two weeks but at points I found it impossible. Traditionally, women are advised not to perform asanas when they are menstruating, particularly inverted postures, although there are many restorative postures that are permitted. I had no idea whether I was strictly menstruating or merely bleeding because of the implant (actually, I still don’t really know) and so I was trying to take it easy. It got to the stage where all I was fit for was Savasana (Corpse posture). Last night’s session was bliss. Lying in Savasana for the final relaxation after such a heated session, I felt peaceful and settled; haven’t felt that way in two weeks.

I respond best to life when I am regularly exercising. When not dealing with menstrual problems, I practice Yoga daily. I aim for an hour session, sometimes more, sometimes a little less, depending on the day. I have been doing this for nine years. I find that disciplining myself  is not much of a challenge because I love the way it makes me feel. If I miss a couple of days, my body starts to yearn for it. Some days its tough and I take a while to warm up and engage but mainly, unrolling my Yoga mat is a joy. When I don’t exercise, after a while I start to feel apathetic and listless and I start losing a balanced perspective on things. I have quite an active, agitated mind and engaging with my body seems to calm it.

Life really is about finding the right balance and this will be different for each of us. I know that if I overdo the exercise thing this will have consequences for my physical well-being and that will impact on the rest of me. Equally, if I get stuck in my own head for too long, I start to spiral down and then know that I need a good Yoga session and a walk in the woods.

Being poorly over these last two weeks made me think how dreadful it must be when chronic illness drastically limits a person’s choices and stops them from doing the things they love. Despite feeling pretty low and pissed off with my ongoing problem, at heart, I still count my blessings. There are many out there who are struggling with far worse. When I think what Julie must be going through at the moment…

Feeling my energy and my spirits rise again has been wonderful. I still don’t know how this is going to pan out but for now I am grateful for the respite. I include here a picture of one of my favourite Yoga balances. It is called Natarajasana or Dancer’s Posture and relates to Shiva as Lord of the Dance. The dance of life keeps moving and how we continue to find balance is dependant on us being able to constantly adjust and readjust to the changes, to sense when the direction of flow needs to shift. Onwards and upwards…

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