Unsteady Uproot – “Show up.” (Saturday, October 19th)

Something unexpected happened to me this morning. You might remember from previous posts that I’ve been taking advantage of the free Saturday morning yoga classes offered across the street from my current favorite coffee shop. I told myself last night that I was not going to yoga this morning because I simply did not feel like bounding out of bed while it was still dark in order to exercise. Well, joke’s on me because thanks to my ridiculously accurate circadian rhythm I was awake at my usual time anyway.

I glanced at my watch this morning and realized that I had 8 minutes to decide wether I was going to drag my butt to yoga or wether I was going to be a sloth for the rest of the day… Ultimately I jumped into my yoga pants, grabbed my mat, and was out the door.

I had no idea what waited for me as I successfully got lost on the way to the park and was subsequently late for class. I parked and kinda jogwalked my way to the other yogis (dodging random purple-wearing strangers because apparently today was also the day for a charity walk) when I realized that we had no instructor. A yoga crowd had gathered and 10 minutes passed and still no instructor appeared.

Me and the girl next to me had chitchatted about wether one of us in the crowd should lead the class if our instructor never appeared. Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would raise my hand and offer to teach a community yoga class for a group of strangers while surrounded by hundreds of other strangers participating in a charity event.

I was crazy nervous. No doubt about that. My voice was definitely shaky and my breathing was definitely not zen in the least, but somehow I held it together and I did the thing.

I channeled my inner “Yoga with Adriene” (she’s a Texan if you didn’t know) and somehow managed to put together a decent yoga practice on the fly. And somehow regardless of my nerves I actually enjoyed the process of guiding other people through practice. This is new, folks.

Yes, I have toyed with the idea of adding yoga training into my repertoire of “physical therapy” skills but never have I ever taught a yoga class – not even for friends. This was definitely one of those experiences where the excitement over doing the thing far outweighed the anxiety of doing something new and vulnerable. I mean, suddenly I was a “public speaker” and a “performer” to a group of strangers and strangely enough I enjoyed it.

A girl came up to me afterwards and said I should take the time to become certified and teach. I walked away from that class a little giddy and high on the possibilities. It’s like I was being rewarded just for showing up for my life…

On a different note… my chiropractor (aka Dr. Handsome) has been doing some different therapies to help me get the curvature back in my neck (that ancient back injury has caused the rest of my spine to adapt in a way that’s not good for me longterm) and lemme tell you… shifting bones and muscles that have been in the same position for YEARS is causing me terrible pain. It’s like all of the muscles have formed a rebellion in the form of extreme muscle tension. I’m getting fewer headaches now, yes, but now there is a muscle behind my shoulder blade that is in such distress that it hurts to breathe, sneeze, use my arms – ya know, the usual everyday things that you would like to do every day. And it PULLS all the way into my shoulder so it’s like my entire arm and clavicle are feeling the pain too.

It DOES improve when he works on me, but he’s only allowing one visit a week because he wants my body to stabilize and not be constantly manipulated. In between visits I have to use this painful foam thing for at home “traction” of sorts and exercise bands for stabilizing exercises. I certainly believe that this is the best course of action (and once my new health insurance kicks in I’m going to regularly see a PT) but DUDE… I forgot how painful this process can be.

If you have an injury and you don’t get it healed up correctly the first time your body adapts and suddenly you’ll have a heck of a time getting it back into good form. Why get it back into good form you ask? Well, for instance, in the case of my back. I get X-rayed every few years to monitor my back’s damage (so to speak). Basically this tells the doctors how healthy are my disks, facets, etc. And also how well my body is maintaining proper curvature of the spine. Ideally you want a healthy curvature because that’s how the body absorbs shock without damaging things. If your spine were straight up and down all the time, disks and bones and things would wear out more easily. And this happens for a variety of reasons. Muscle imbalances and chronic muscle spasms are common contributors to the loss of spinal curvature. Unfortunately I myself have lost even more of the curvature in my neck than last time (seriously discouraging) which means I need to better take care of myself…hence the weekly therapy and all the extra stuff I do at home.

Speaking of… it’s getting late and I have yet to do those “stabilizing exercises”. Until next time…

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