This has been a challenging week. Between travel to hard-to-get-to US destinations on business and trying to find the time and energy to maintain my yoga practice – well, we’ll just keep it at “it was a challenging week”!
As many MS’ers know, sometimes sensory-overload can lead to serious fatigue, or worsen already existing fatigue. In business situations, especially on travel status, one can find oneself very easily over-stimulated and over-fatigued. Sensory overload can come in the form of too much noise, too many people, too much time with too many people, too much discomfort over too long a period of time …you get the picture. I bowed out of some evening affairs, despite the potential for furthering business matters, in favor of getting the rest I craved.
So with sensory overload in full force, I was especially glad to return home and just flop into bed. I was gladder still the next evening to make it to the Yoga Studio to work out the kinks and stressors of the week. On the mat, I found my peace & equilibrium again, and I had the joy to witness the “yoga click” in a friend who has begun joining me in yoga. Awesome! (And he does an amazing Crow position which had me envious! 😉
By the weekend, however, I found myself “fighting the wrong fight” – fighting against the pain and aches and frustrated emotions coursing through my body, fighting the need to sleep and recover from my travels in my desire to “get things done”. By the time my favorite Sunday night hot yoga session came around, I was literally dragging myself to the studio – emotionally and physically exhausted. On the mat, I struggled, pushed, felt discomfort , pain, anxiety – berating myself when I could not maintain balance in the balancing poses, falling into the wall numerous times; judging myself for how much I was struggling. Then something wonderful happened: I remembered what my teacher had told me just that day: to change my internal dialogue from “try” to “will”. So I stopped “trying” and just relaxed…relaxed into the “flow”… relaxed into the “fight”. And you know what? As soon as I let go and stopped trying to force my body to do what it clearly was not willing to do at that time, as soon as I relaxed and allowed myself to just “be”…the magic happened again. The peace and calm settled on me. My muscles became fluid – and I was able to clear my mind, relax, and focus into the next poses. I crowed internally when I even was able to hold the Crow pose for 5 seconds. (OK…maybe 3 seconds if we get technical about how fast I counted my breaths! 😉
Some days, that struggle on the mat is exactly what it feels like all day with various MS symptoms that flare-up: the internal fighting, the disappointment & frustration with where the body is “at” that day, the self-recrimination that may at times come with it.
Changing my internal dialogue is what helped me over the hump that day. And I am continuing the change of that internal dialogue – using the words “can” or “will” instead of just “try”. “Try” implies that there is a chance of not succeeding – “will” implies success as inevitable. And note – time lines or agendas for that success are not in the equation at all!
So I leave you with words from one of my favorite philosophers: “Do or do not. There is no try.” ~ Yoda