Since I got injured earlier this year, I haven’t really been able to practice much. For the most part, the quality, as well as quantity, of my practice has been greatly affected…so much so that now, I kind of feel like I’m starting from scratch again. All the poses that came so easy to me already at the height of my daily practice is gone, even downward facing dog, which was much like home to me, feels so foreign to me now. It’s saddens me. It frustrates me. It makes me angry, too, because I lost that which I loved the most.
Today, however, I pause and recognize, or at least try to, that I can be grateful that what I knew a few months back has shifted and is different now.
As I shared in the class I lead today, sometimes we need to un-become, to become that which we really are meant to be in the first place (side note: coincidentally, this was a quote I had seen written on the board at the Byron Yoga Centre café while I was there for training). In my lecture classes at the University, we watched a movie that ended with this quote: Every story has an end. But in life, every ending is just a new beginning.
And so this evening I chose to come back to my mat, with the humble intention to un-become and allow this story to end in order to welcome a new beginning. And what do you know, the theme of this evenings class was so in line with my intention. It was a Jivamukti class and this month’s focus is wildness and the teacher talked about how embracing our wildness means liberating ourselves from the roles and perceptions that we have grown accustomed to (ergo have become). To be wild means to break away from that which limits us. To be wild means to be free and to, as Teacher Nancy put it, to break away from the mold and grow with no apologies
It’s not just my practice that has shifted completely, but my career directions and life goals as well. I feel like everything I have built up is slowly crumbling down. Perhaps if I had my cards read today, I would draw a death card or something to that effect. Suffice it to say, since I’ve come home from Australia, I feel like I am shedding the layers of the person I knew myself to be. The disconcerting part, at least till today, was simply not knowing what happens next. After all, we build these layers for a reason, right?
As those layers dissipate, however, I realize I have discovered new things about myself. I have grown more confident in my practice (or lack thereof) and have come into a more quiet and deep sense of a practice. Maybe my asanas are still rebuilding themselves, but because of my injuries, I have unlearned a lot of what I first learned (both the good and not-so-good) and now approach with a new set of eyes. My understanding of alignment and anatomy, for example, has shifted from theoretical and structural, to one that’s more practical and functional. Though my poses do not look as “deep” as they used to, it’s integrity and quality is different. It’s come into what it was meant to be in the first place.
This is exactly what working my way back from injury, as well as my current life changes, has taught me. To embrace my wild side with abandon, but not take my asana practice wildly to the point of abandon. Rather, it means to me to step away from the conventional and to listen to that voice in me that knows way more than what my head does.
And so yeah, while a part of me feels that I have come back to square one, a bigger part of me is grateful that I am in this new square one. I guess it’s true that when you need to learn something, Universe will not be subtle about getting that message through.
Here’s to the next phase of the journey of becoming and unbecoming.