There was a not so catastrophic incident almost three months ago that slightly derailed my activity and fitness momentum – I got into a fight with a recycling bin, the bin won, and I thankfully did not break my toe. Not so crazy but a bit crazy. Running became a bit of a joke and yoga was ridiculous – downward facing dog is pointless when your big toe just isn’t playing nice.
Today was my first day back in almost three months, and to have that follow one week after having strep throat? Go ahead and laugh – it’s funny.
So, honestly, my arms are mushy, my abs are pretend, my thighs are shaky at best. It amazing how the body remembers positions and wants to respond, but the core is missing and lacking resolve.
I’m on the mat, my brain going a gazillion miles an hour, trying to return to my breath, trying to focus on the now. And I realize at that moment that this is why I fell in love with yoga – yeah, strength training and flexibility are great – but the moment, the present, the now. This breath, this heart beat, this space that my body resides in. Now. This is what my life has been missing while I’ve allowed my toe to derail my momentum.
And I remember, while trying to get into the moment, this wonderful post card a dear friend sent me – “Now, when I get back here, I expect to find you marching through the streets with great bunches of wild flowers in your arms,” and the sentiment resonates in my heart.
This day at yoga – my first day back – presents the opportunity for me to try my first handstand – assisted of course. I watch the other women go up – effortlessly, skillfully, gracefully. I feel none of those things, and I look at my instructor and ask, “Just go for it?” And she says, “Yes.” And I do. Not gracefully, but I’m up. And I try to find all the muscles of my abdomen, my thighs, along my back, my shoulders. I am able to take my feet from the wall but am quickly reminded just how much of my body I haven’t been using for the past several months, and I tire and return to the floor (without the slightest bit of grace). And back to child’s pose. And I am tired and elated and conscious of my body and it’s parameters. In this moment.
While I walk down the four flights of gorgeous unfinished fir stairs back to my car – tired but lighter – I realize these are my great bunches of wild flowers – the bunches I collect along the roadside of my journey. Today it was my first handstand.