Are you trying to rebuild fitness or some other aspect of your life. Do you feel frustrated as you try to re-build? I hear you because I am right there with you. But we are not going backwards, we can only go forward in time with the lessons we learn along the way.
In 2020 I decided to stop practicing second series and focus on practicing primary series. There were multiple reasons for this, 2020 was quite a year for us all, I am sure. Partly I just wanted my practice to a calm meditative place for me and it was. When I was younger, I was quite driven to get further into the ashtanga sequences and despite what I feel popular belief is I am not naturally flexible. I worked hard to get to the end of second series over many years being given the poses gradually from my teacher. I got to the beginning of 3rd series and then honestly wasn’t sure I wanted to go any further.
Now I find myself ready to practice second series again. I am finally in a place mentally and physically where I feel it is something I want in my life. Except it is not there. The body I used to have is no longer here. Today’s body can not do many of the poses that I worked so hard to be able to do.
Honestly, I have found this hard. It feels like going backwards, not by weeks but by years. I didn’t think I cared about this anymore, yoga is primarily a mediative practice for me after all.
What I have realised, is it is not whether I can do the poses that matters. What matters is that by trying to do the poses that I can not do, I am confronted with myself. I am confronted with my doubts, am I too old? Am I going backwards? It is through this meeting with myself that I see and love myself more fully.
How can I get back to where I used to be when it feels so far away?
The answer is I can’t. I might be able to do full second series again but it will not be the same because I am not the same. And if you are in a situation where you are trying rebuild some part of your life from the past, you can’t go back there either. Unless you have a time machine? Let me know! We always go forward because the Helen working on second series now isn’t just older, she has far more experience and knowlege..
One of my key learnings recently is that in order to change we must accept ourselves as we are. Through loving ourselves as we are we can start take steps towards a future version of ourselves.
In order to even begin this journey to rebuild my second series practice, I have to accept my body today. I have to accept and respect the decision I made in 2020 to stop. If I can not, I will not be brave enough to confront it, because it is with today’s body that I practice with all the blessings, challenges and learnings that came before. The past is gone, I don’t know what the future holds. What I am grateful for is a practice that challenges me so much I have to rethink myself and what it is to be human.
Let me know if this resonates. I love hearing from you.