It’s been a while since I posted to this blog, so I figured I could stimulate my winter-quiet lack of blogishness with a post from the archives. Re-reading this post from about a year and a half ago, I find how relevant it still is for me. Re-training ourselves, exploring, reviewing and where needed, re-structuring our movement patterns is a life-long project.
Working Within Our Limits
The other day I stretched a little too far in yoga class. Well, while in class, it wasn’t bothering me, but I must’ve really loosened something up because when I woke up the next morning I felt something go “zing!” in my right shoulder and then I went “uh oh.” Instead of taking it easy that day, I went to yoga and took it a little easy, but not easy enough I guess, and my shoulder was definitely hurting afterwards.
Today I called in from work and decided to stay home and take care of myself. There’s about three weeks left in the TT and it would be silly to do something to myself physically which would create limitations on my ability to participate. So I’ve been resting, putting on the heating pad, and generally taking it easy.
But the whole experience really spoke to me on working within my limits. I feel like I have discovered the bookends of my current range. In TT, Paula’s emphasis on energetic work has absolutely helped me break through something (still figuring out how to express it verbally) and find a softer, more centered self that isn’t muscling through life and “trying” to be and do. There is some self-aggression in the “trying” and a lot of refusal to accept who and where I am. So the “trying” has been softened and I am now focusing on being or unfolding instead.
In class this Tuesday, I was tuned in to working energetically, but our poses were mostly about creating opening, stretching, finding length. Ok, no problem I thought. This isn’t a class where my patterns of muscling through would come in. But I found another pattern: going a little too far, over-stretching my boundaries, literally. This over-stretching was perfectly crystallized in whatever went pop/snap/zing in my shoulder the next morning.
So on the one end, I’m very familiar with that muscle through “I’ll make this work or else!” pattern that has driven me for a good portion of my adult life. And on the other end, I found that in my newfound openness, I could go a little too far.
The most obvious lesson to me is to listen to myself, my body, my intuition and pay heed to its supreme intelligence. It is my nature to always push myself and this pattern is something I’ve seeing the results of; there is definitely a better, gentler way. But the layer beneath this one reveals to me that there is so much left to work thought, strip away, explore, and integrate. Muscling through and attempting to force my desire on the world is not the same thing and being truly aware of what I want and need and harmonizing with the world to create this into being. Over-stretching my boundaries and pulling myself into places I am not yet ready for and thus will not be able to engage fully with (or perhaps even hurt myself with!) is the other side of this, and I found it. With a little pain.
Working within our limits is something that takes time to discover. I expect to continuously discover mine, and be aware of when the boundaries on either end change and shift. There is learning offered to us at every turn if we continuously train ourselves to stay open to it.