Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 19: Anxiety and Hope

Yes, back in the hot room! Slowly but surely I want to believe I am getting rid of this never ending cold. I won't bore with too many details, but yes I remain congested and at less than full energy and strength. Not to mention my newest ailment, itchy eyelids due to some type of allergic reaction to what I am not at all sure. Bottom line is my immune system is still recovering and I was determined to be on the mat today.

Arriving at 4pm class I was excited for practice but more so to see Elizabeth again. Seems like forever since I've seen her or Megan. Our time on the mat together has been a great bonus to our friendships and even though we don't get much of our "chit chat" in, it's awesome to see the three of us practicing together. I also get enjoyment out of being their cheerleader and seeing what great work they are doing in their commitment to their own practices. I feel like the non-verbal bonding we have in yoga is just as satisfying as our "girls nights" full of chatter and laughter.

Back to class...yes it was HOT, but that is the point right!? Throughout our standing series I definitely was fighting to maintain my endurance and fight off the physical discomfort of my breathing. My body still fighting the congestion, it seemed to take longer today to open up my breathing passages. My heart rate also seemed to jump higher more often after even the slightest extra exertion. I know this is a good thing overall, in terms of getting the blood flowing, but the pattern was off for me today and I found myself feeling anxious during these moments. Anxiety for me plays on my fears, which in turn makes my heart race faster and my mind spin into a string of oh no's, what if's and omg's. Having had panic attacks several times in my life, when I've allowed my anxiety to completely take over, I have great fear of where that anxiety will lead me if I don't take control immediately. It is hard to describe the anxiety of feeling your heart beating too fast for comfort when you feel like you can't quite catch enough breath. But I had several moments where I felt the start of that feeling and had to immediately shut my mind down to bring back the calm. While not coming anywhere near a panic or even allowing anxiety to grab hold longer than literally a second, what stuck out for me in this class was simply the difficulty I had in maintaining my breathing when it has generally come with ease thus far. I was truly proud, not to mention relieved, when I actually finished all of the standing postures and beat down that anxiety.

In the floor series I am finding my stride, even when sick. These are becoming my postures of noticeable changes in every practice. I've even found that the postures I "dreaded" most in the beginning are becoming my favorites. The discomfort has been replaced by comfort and I am getting closer to full expression in more than one floor posture. It is comforting to end with these moments of encouragement after fighting my way through the standing poses. It gives me hope that once my strength is back again I will find more improvements in my standing postures as well.

Tonight I am feeling optimistic about recovering my health and my practice seems to contribute to that feeling, mentally and physically. I am exhausted but I am breathing easier tonight, so tomorrow I will be just as determined to go back to the mat.

1 comment:

  1. "I feel like the non-verbal bonding we have in yoga is just as satisfying as our "girls nights" full of chatter and laughter." - YES I couldn't agree more! I love being able to do yoga with you!

    I couldn't even tell you've been sick. Class was so hot & I wanted to take a knee like 8 times, but I saw you were pushing through and I thought, no way I can sit down while sick Lex is rocking the poses! So thanks for helping me get through (as usual).

    See ya in a few!