Saturday, January 17, 2009

my first week

Everything hurt. It amazes me each and every time I fall off the wagon, how truly hard I fall. 

I managed to get to yoga twice this week. It doesn't sound like much, but given the monumental soreness and exhaustion, I'm rather proud of myself. 

On Monday, I went to a class that I knew would be good for stretching and a relaxing pace. Farah at Open Door combines restorative with hatha yoga, and focuses on breath. Taking time in each pose, you're able to allow your body to open up fully and relax into a pose. Nothing is fast or jarring, and your body welcomes the opportunity to truly relax. 

Usually I would take Farah's classes to rest between power classes, but this time I felt it was all I could handle. And I was right. I could have cried. My body had retreated into the days of old, when I wasn't doing yoga. My joints were stiff and cranky, my breathing shallow, and everything hurt. The simplest postures were frustrating as my body fought me every step of the way. To have come so far only to have to start at the beginning again. 

And the exhaustion. Normally yoga is invigorating for me, giving me energy I didn't know I could have. But this week my body cried for sleep. I could barely muster the energy to cook dinner after coming home from work. All I wanted was to curl up on the couch with some tea and go to bed before 10. I can't stress how unusual that is for me.  

And ravenous! I couldn't seem to eat enough. I craved everything.  I would eat two breakfasts and a snack and still want more. Never satiated, craving things I knew are bad for me. When have I EVER enjoyed drinking pop? Gross. Is it leftover conditioning from the holidays? Is that why I want nothing else but chocolate at 10:30 at night? 

Sugar. I usually have control when it comes to sugar. I don't crave it, and when faced with it, I can moderate it. A chocolate bar will last me weeks, sometimes a month. I can have one small bite and feel satisfied. Not lately. A chocolate bar is gone in seconds and I want more. Then it dawned on me, am I replacing the sugar found in wine? An almost daily glass of wine habit is a hard thing to break. I haven't had a drink in a week. That may seem like a small feat, but for me, it feels like a milestone. It's not even necessarily the wine. It's the ritual of drinking a nice glass while cooking. But then that glass becomes two... 

On Thursday my plans fell through, and I found I was able to go to yoga. I made up my mind to go and didn't allow myself to waver. And I am SO GLAD I went. Finally! Finally, my body cooperated with me, easing into postures that had once been so easy. I felt a glimmer of strength in my muscles and my lungs allowed my breathing to go deeper. I know it must sound clich√©, but I felt like I was coming home. To a place I knew, where I was accepted and comfortable. My body and mind were once again joined, not separate and combative. I felt a warmth and gratitude that had been evading me for so long. I can't tell you how invigorating I felt. That night, I came home and slept like a baby. No herbs or remedies to help me sleep. Just a radiant feeling of being relaxed. 

This week has been exhausting and trying, but I am finally beginning to see. Insomnia, which I have been struggling with for so long, is simply a symptom of a mind/body disconnect. Stress, lack of exercise, drinking... all of these contribute and exacerbate the problem. But it comes back to the necessity of that union. Without it, we don't have balance. And balance is what enables us to face the world each day. 


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