Friday, January 18, 2008

Honorable Mention

Ah, how the Baroness loves languages. Italian, Indian, French - they all have such a lyrical quality to them as the conversation ebbs and flows.

But the language that the Baroness is completely grooving on right now is not a language, per se, but a beautiful lexicon of terms used in the practice of yoga. Here in calm quiet intonations our yogis gently speak in phrases like body-mind connection , of attaching a breath to a movement, of relaxing into a child's pose, and they then top things off with a heartfelt namaste.

The phrase that has just recently begun to resonate with me is "honoring your body". While I've heard this at least 1000 times in the past, it's finally percolated its way into my brain to make me take pause and think. Honoring your body implies that if you are unable to accomplish a pose due to inflexibility or ache (or chronic persnickety-ness), rather than pushing through and potentially hurting yourself, you must honour what your body is telling you.

I wonder - how many of us cognitively do this? Not just in matters of all things yogic, but metaphorically? I know that until a couple of weeks ago, I didn't - in yoga, exercise, or life in general. After finally having the chemotherapy cloud above me begin to dissipate, I have been gung ho to get back into a routine. A rather gruelling routine. But the whole "honoring your body" credo has finally allowed me to create a more manageable pace. I now realize that I'm doing this for the long run, and grinding myself into the ground is doing me no favours. So now, I do what I can, and don't beat myself up over what I can't. Each day is different, each time is different, and what I'm able to do - I do.

The other day at my favorite breakfast haunt, I was eavesdropping on a conversation at the next table. The woman facing me clearly was having a health challenge of some sort, and was telling her table mates how she had been doing gardening and got carried away and really tired herself out. Oh, said one of the table mates, did you overdo it? Yes, said the other, you overdid it. No, no said the gardener sheepishly. The truth was, she probably had. But when you're finally beginning to feel better after feel so lousy for so long, it's extremely easy to let your inexhaustible spirit take over. I know this.

I've been there. But now I've made it here. Loving my re-found energy. Cherishing every moment. And honoring my body.

Namaste.

4 comments:

Leah Erridge said...

I know maybe not to the same extent as you,
but I do the exact same thing on a lesser model.
I am kinda known for not really sleeping at all, and when I take the time to actually sleep (over a period of a few days), I feel much much better.
Then of course, when I'm feeling better, I do the unthinkable and have yet another long late night.
Never really felt it during sports, not taking care of myself an all, but I certainly do take shitty care of myself as a whole.
Utterly terrible actually.

Lisa said...

Personally, I think "overdoing it" is a matter of perspective. For people who think "there's always tomorrow", then "overdoing it" probably doesn't require as much activity as others. Others? Such as .. folks who've had brushes with death, maybe a terminal illness, or if you're just weird like me and have some innate need to pack every minute with something. I'd say this lot has a different view of "overdoing it." I heard a friend of my grandfather's once say "I don't sleep more than 8 hours a day because if I do then I'll be sleeping away more than 1/3 of my life." If you add relaxation and downtime on top of that, how much of one's life is then spent doing nothing at all. This is the kind of thinking that drives me to my hamster wheel every day! I think I need to try some yoga.

Baronvess von B said...

I'm completely about packing as much life as possible into every moment. I just realized that to actually enjoy those every moments, I needed to ratchet down the pace a notch or two. Huge difference. Then again, that's just me. And you are you. And we are we. Together. Aww.

Lisa said...

I'm with ya sista .... today will be spent in my peapod (aka on my couch) watching TV and I don't feel one bit guilty about it!

 
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