I have been “dabbling” in yoga for a few years (never consistently unfortunately) but have never really taken the time to learn about its origins and consider its most meaningful benefit…mindfulness.
I’m not sure, but I’m guessing it’s true for most people who, like myself, who, like myself, when diagnosed with RA or some sort of inflammatory arthritis, was in such a bad state of health had no choice but to SLOW DOWN. I mean, it just wasn’t physically possible to keep up the pace I had set for myself before I became ill so I sloooooooowed down…stopped really. Of course, I was angry and grieving (as one does) but because I have THE most incredible people around me, I was able to take some time to evaluate my priorities and recognize the benefits of making space in my life to tend to my own needs – physical, mental, spiritual etc. This reflective time happened during the first few months and years of my illness, recovery and even into my remission. It was an incredible time of reflection and if I hadn’t been literally forced into it…I don’t know if I ever would have taken the time to do it, take it seriously…truly.
Now, my RA story takes an abrupt U-turn with me entering and staying in remission for nearly 10 years! (insert all the marching bands!) As soon as I was even “mostly” able to get back to life…I did!! I remember deliberately trying to slow my pace and not CRAM my life full, full, FULL, again like I had before, but hey…we are creatures of habit aren’t we!?!? (Why not the GOOD habits though!?!?!?!? Right?!!?). I like to think my life fills up so quickly because I have a freakin’ fantastic life full of incredible people and a self-confidence that pushes me to try new and exciting things which is why I get myself in trouble with being too busy and forget to just “be.” I always think it’s a bit funny when I’m surprised at how tired and worn-out and I am and then realize I haven’t taken care of myself…again #smacksforehead.
When I practice yoga, I am very focused on the stretching and strengthening aspects of it and completely tune out the beautiful, peaceful, centering practice it was intended to be. I NEED to make this a priority!!! Thank you Thank you Thank you Ellen!!! I needed to hear your wise words of encouragement to take time to quiet my mind and sit (lay) with my thoughts…confession…I ALWAYS skip shavasana…because it’s literally 5 mins I could be doing something else…like getting to the next thing on my to-do list…yes…I’m embarrassed to admit this!!!!!!! (But it’s true). If anyone needs more shavasana in their life…it’s ME! LOL
So…I am committing to make yoga more than “organized stretching” for me and I WILL complete my practice with shavasana…today is a new day 🙂
person with rheumatoid arthritis