At Yoga, I Ate Everything in Sight. ~ Anne Samit

Via on Jun 17, 2013
by PublicDomainPictures
by PublicDomainPictures

Last week was my first time back on the mat in a month.

My wrist had been healing, and I did my best to stay motivated, trying to walk and run and stretch. But by the end, I really was just spending my time waiting to come back.

On the day I was cleared to practice, I thought I’d be so excited, but as the day wore on, I got more and more out of sorts. By the time I got home from work, I was not sure I’d even go.

I knew at the end of my month’s rest, I would lose a little strength and flexibility; however, I did not think I would also lose a little confidence.

I couldn’t believe I was considering giving myself another week at home.

I had to start again, literally. So, I jumped in the shower as if the day was just beginning, and did all the things I do to get ready in the morning, even though it was night.

Feeling better, I packed up my mat and hopped in the car, driving to my favorite spot, a beautiful yoga studio downtown with a big, open practice room.

I parked the car, walked ‘round the corner and there on the city sidewalk stood my yoga buddies!

I was so thrilled to see them, these people who have come to mean so much to me. Their hoots, hollers and hugs welcomed me warmly and boosted my confidence enough to make my way with them to the studio.

As we sat in the lounge, the others asked if I knew that I would have to hold back. No arm balances. No crow. No jump backs.

What’s left for me to do? I asked, knowing I had to start slowly but only now realizing how much. They had a quick answer for me:

The rest of your practice! 

I come to this class for the bhandas and balances, so this advice gave me pause.

But, they quickly told me how injuries can force a focus on other parts of the practice and even demonstrated some modifications. One of the girls told me an injury helped her learn to go from seated position to handstand. Another told me how an injury improved her forearm stands.

Their collective support and encouragement gave my confidence another needed boost, and we walked inside and placed our mats in this most special and spacious room. The high ceiling fans circulated a warm breeze that had made its way in through the open French doors.

The practice began, and we moved with the breeze. We moved and we moved and we moved.

It was as if I was dining on a long overdue meal. I wanted to gobble up whatever was next. I wanted to clean my plate, and I realized how mistaken I was to think that I’d be left hungry without the arm balances. 

Each and every pose was work, and when it came time for Crane, I instead sat in a squat with my knees together in front of me. Turns out, my heels can’t even touch the ground! Maybe they never could? A new challenge served up.

When it was time to jump back, I simply stepped back, happy to be able to have any weight on my wrists in the first place. A big helping of gratitude.

And I waited out the Side Crows in a forward fold, my head no longer as close to my knees as before. A bite of humble pie.

We flowed through Warrior I.’s and II.’s, Side Angles, Half Moons and Triangles, and we reversed them, too. The sweat started early, and I savored each movement, my muscles getting a taste of what they had missed.

Then the instructor brought us to Humble Warrior. With Warrior I. feet, I bound my hands behind me and leaned forward, lifting them up and over my back.

And with my head bowed to the mat, I felt such a rush of emotion that I had to catch my breath, as if I had eaten too fast. I was overcome with everything the evening had brought me. Photo by Paige Morency

I was back in my seat at this abundant banquet where everything is in reach: My practice and my mat. The instructor and the room. My friends and their energy, support and camaraderie.

As usual, the practice was over in the blink of an eye. But, I was sated.

On the way out, a fellow yogi asked how I felt, and I told her I felt everything! My muscles ached as if the practice was brand new.

But she explained it so much better and knew just what I meant.

You mean it hurt so good! 

Exactly! I said, knowing I had only whet my appetite and would be hungry again soon.

Like elephant journal Yoga on Facebook.

Ed: Brianna Bemel

About Anne Samit

With the sole intention of exercising for the first time in her life, Anne was introduced to yoga in the fall of 2010 and was surprised at its transformative effects. There she was, outside of those physical and emotional comfort zones where she had been safely residing for some time. Anne further discovered in yoga a writing opportunity; her blog is a written manifestation of the impact of her practice. A native Washingtonian with a passion for writing, an interest in painting, and a background in public relations, she is presently an executive assistant at a health industry consulting company. Her two children live in New York City, where they practice yoga as well. A collection of Anne’s posts can be found at YogaSpeak.blogspot.com and Facebook.com/YogaSpeak.

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4 Responses to “At Yoga, I Ate Everything in Sight. ~ Anne Samit”

  1. @jessofwight says:

    Having had 7 weeks away from my yoga practice due to a fracture last autumn, I recognise those emotions and feelings on return. It was beng guided up into a headstand that proved the emotional release; the tears flowed, not elegant in class, but sometimes there's no choice,

  2. sukrit says:

    your article is so inspirational for anyone with a sport injury!

    • Anne says:

      Thank you, sukrit. This was the first time I had to sit out at length because of an injury. It was challenging to sit out, and it's been challenging to start back slowly so that nothing gets reinjured. In yoga, we are always told to listen to our bodies, but sometimes my mind is louder than my body.

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