Friday, August 16, 2013

When Yogis Get Sick...

Ugh, this has been a week of torture for me, mentally and physically. Sunday morning, I came down with muscle aches that made me want to cry. I sucked it up, though, and went on a canoe paddle with Tom and Colden, because it was a beautiful morning, one of the last summer Sundays we'll get to enjoy for a while.

Monday night, I thought I would go to yoga, that maybe it would make me feel better. I got to the studio, then realized that my arms and legs hurt too much to get out of the car. I turned around, got into bed, and cried for 20 minutes because I felt so bad, I thought I was coming down with the flu.

The rest of the week, I've been struggling with congestion, cough, sore throat, and more muscle aches and pains. This "little" infection in my gums under one of my molars was driving me crazy, and even though the dentist said not to take the antibiotics right away, I cracked and started up with the Amoxicillin last night when I just couldn't take it any more. (For the record: I tried salt water rinses and baking soda scrubs for two weeks, and while they've worked in the past on other dental issues, this time, they were pretty much useless.)

Yesterday morning, I found myself thinking about my little boy, and how he's growing up so fast, and starting kindergarten in just a few weeks. It makes me sad to think that the baby stage is over, but excited to be able to keep watching him grow up into an amazing little man. However. Given my physical and emotional state over being frustrated at this illness all week, I just sat down in front of the computer before work and cried for a good half hour.

This morning, my muscles still ache. I'm still tired. I'm still congested, although it's not nearly as bad as it was the other day. I'm frustrated that I haven't been able to do yoga at all this week, because just the thought of working through a single Sun Salutation with these muscle aches is enough to bring me to tears.

And, of course, there's always that little battle with that annoyingly loud part of my brain that says to me, "OhmygodwhatifitsleukemiaorcancerorsomethingreallyawfulandyoujustignoreituntilyouDIE?"

This morning, I realized that the world was pissing me off. People rushing to judge each other in the meanest way possible, violence, ignorance... What's a yogi to do?

Breathe, of course, but sometimes, it just feels to me like if I take one. more. deep. breath. my head is going to explode.

And then I take another breath.

And another.

And you know what? Sometimes, it's okay to get mad. Part of being true to ourselves is allowing ourselves the freedom to express our emotions, isn't it? So if you get mad, get mad. Scream, cry, holler, hit something (soft, like a pillow, maybe), and get motivated to do something about whatever is making you mad. If you can't do anything about whatever is making you mad, maybe meditate on it to see how you can allow yourself to accept it. (If you can't do anything about it, then there's no sense in getting mad, right? And if you can do something about it, do it.)

It's okay if you're not in a Zen-like state of pure bliss every second of every hour of every day. We're human. We get mad, and we get sad, and we get happy, but the thing about the yoga is that it brings me back to some sort of equilibrium, time after time.

As for practicing when you're sick, it's all about listening to your body. All this week, my body was telling me to do restorative poses where I would prop myself up in bed with some nice music or a movie and my eye pillow and just REST. My body needed some help in healing (still does, apparently), and a vigorous vinyasa or Ashtanga class wasn't really going to do the trick this week.

Meanwhile, my plan for today is to have a delicious lunch with a wonderful friend and her two kids, get the rest of my writing done, do a little grocery shopping, make a yummy dinner for us all, and try to do a little yoga. Yes, my muscles still hurt, and my mind is still screaming, but today I am going to try to remember that after all, I'm only human.

Four more days of antibiotics to go...

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