Today was such a good day.
It's World Kindness Day, for one thing. So I had a fantastic new play list for yoga this morning.
THEN, I got to spend an hour with a new student who came to me after having surgery a few years ago. She lives with chronic pain, although not as bad as before the surgery. She came just to see if there was anything for her in yoga.
I think you can imagine my answer.
We spent some time rolling around the floor of my studio, checking out the ways her body moves now and the limitations --some immoveable because of new hardware in her body and some that I think will disappear over time as her body gains strength and opens up. I'm designing a yoga practice just for her, based on Dharma Yoga. I got so excited, I forgot to offer her tea afterward! My head was already full of potential sequences.
And there it was, see: An answer to a question I'd been asking for a long time.
I always wonder why I had to endure those years of pain. How was anyone served by that? The indignity of it --why was that necessary?
But today, what I realized is that I had to endure those years so I could really get inside of that pain. So I could really feel what it feels like to inhabit a body that feels completely foreign. So that I could loathe myself, and then learn to love myself. So that I will never, ever forget what that felt like.
I remember how angry I was, how really deeply enraged I was at this betrayal by my body. I punished myself. I withheld things I loved from myself. Over time, though (and it took a lot of time,) something in my perspective shifted and I began to see how valiantly my body was trying to cope with this pain. And I began to nourish it in a different way, like I would a sick child.
When I stopped fighting myself and grieving over all the things I couldn't do, when I started to celebrate the things I COULD do and to feel grateful for those, it made space inside of me for joy to bloom again.
Which always makes me wonder if I had been able to release my emotional pain sooner, would my physical pain have dissipated sooner, too?
Anyway, because I had that experience with truly dreadful chronic pain, I am uniquely qualified to help others who come to me in the midst of their own pain.
Before every class I teach, I pray that I might be a channel through which healing and health comes for those who come to me. I am overwhelmed with gratitude at the thought that I might help someone in the same way I was helped.
So, I had this huge, enormous, heart-filling joy today.
AND...then I won a cool t-shirt from Yoga Inspiration, who had posted a question asking how yoga had changed its readers' lives. I wrote, "After three years of excruciating chronic pain, I took my first yoga class. It triggered my healing and now, three years later, I'm a RYT and have opened a small studio. Yoga has been a miracle for me and I'm pretty sure when you get a miracle, you're supposed to share it!"
I'm pretty sure when you get a miracle, you're supposed to share it.