The first week of 2018 has been a wild ride. It started off pretty good. My brother came over to hang out on Monday, and my writing group met up on Wednesday evening (including one friend that I haven’t seen in a couple years). Thursday, my dad and brother came over for a wine party. I had plans to attend a coffee festival with a friend Saturday, and then to head out to my grandmother’s ranch for our annual family bonfire in the evening.
Beyond all the social events – which I love, because I’m one of those rare extroverted book bloggers – I’d been so happy beginning Yoga With Adriene’s TRUE yoga series. My cotton yoga mat arrived (via Ashi Box), I joined a worldwide online yoga community, and my body felt so good! Until Thursday evening.
When my brother and dad came over for our wine party, I thought I was having allergy symptoms. Just a little sniffling and stuffy, you know? But it was more than that – on Friday morning, I woke up with a lead weight on my chest, unable to take a deep breath, full-body weakness, all that jazz. I basically slept the entire day away. Saturday was a little better, but my heart would still race every time I walked up the stairs, or even stood still for more than a few seconds. I had to cancel both of my Saturday events (boo!!).
Pretty much everyone but Laurence (so far) has been hit with this, all to varying degrees, but I seem to have gotten the worst of it (yay?). Still, I managed to keep up with my yoga practice, only missing a day and then doubling-up on Sunday to catch up. By Monday, I was feeling mostly better, and I had one of those truly glorious moments that come periodically during exercise.
I posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook, but didn’t really give the full story behind it. There are two parts to it. First, there are my problem-feet, which I’ve discussed before. Balancing has always been tough for me at every age, size, and fitness level. Then I broke my foot back in August 2015. A year ago, doctors discovered my left foot was still broken 18 months after that fall, and I was restricted to no-impact exercise (pretty much just modified yoga) for six months. I wasn’t allowed to do any balancing postures on my left foot, and I wouldn’t have been able to if I tried. Here we are a year later, and I didn’t fall once while in tree pose. That’s rare enough on my problem feet without accounting for the recently-healed-and-still-strengthening broken foot. That’s the part I discussed via social media.
What I didn’t discuss was this particular variation of tree pose. The traditional pose has either hands together at the heart or together overhead, but in Monday’s practice, Adriene said to make it our own. Find something that resonated with us. I almost never put my arms overhead just because balancing that way is so difficult on my feet, but on Monday my arms rose right up, shoulder blades back, fingers spread, eyes toward the sky. In my head, my fingers became tree branches that connected down the trunk of my body to where my foot rooted to the earth. After four cross-country moves in three years, I finally feel rooted again, and I really felt that as I stood tall in this pose, maybe wobbling a little here and there but never even close to falling. I am home. What a great way to end the first week of 2018.