Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ladies' Holiday & Other Lessons I Learned About My Practice in 2011

2011 was a rough year health wise for me.  But it gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about my practice. 

  • Taking Ladies Holiday is essential for me to keep up a 6 day a week practice on non-ladies holiday weeks.  I never used to take ladies holiday.  In the short term, I felt that I felt much better practicing during LH.  This summer, I imposed LH on myself in an effort to try to heal from my miscarriage and help my cycle return (it took 5 full months and 16 additional lbs to happen).  I would simply observe LH when it was supposed to happen.  Magically, I discovered that doing this once a month left me less depleted the rest of the month and able to carry on a regular 6 day practice.  
  • Practicing 6 days a week is important to progress.  I had been stuck at Pinchamayurasana for over a year.  I could never keep the hand bind (even with assistance to get into it) in kurmasana.   I easily gained weight.  When I started practicing 6 days a week, my Pincha changed, I can now keep the bind in kurmasana, and after my cycle returned to normal the 16 lbs dropped off and I am continuing to lose weight.  
  • I am strong enough to keep up my practice through adversity.  A miserable job, cold apartment, no teachers, and two significant health problems did not stop my practice.  These things changed my practice temporarily and challenged my will and ability.  But I emerged from all of it stronger and with a stronger practice.

  • This practice can heal you if you allow it.  I could have given up. I could have even blamed the practice for some of my problems.  I could have become frustrated with the lack of progress and even sometimes the sense of going backwards.  
  • Sometimes you have to go backwards in order to move forward. 

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