Here are some of Thank You Cards I’ve received lately. Each card has been a surprise, each card has been purposeful, and each card gave me moment to pause with sincerity.
As I was healing my left shoulder the past few months, my yoga practice routine was forced to change drastically. I could no longer maintain my Second Series Ashtanga Routine and then still teach all my classes because the fatigue was too great.
I could no longer go straight from practicing to teaching because I had to go home and ice my shoulder in between every class. I could no longer rely on my two hour moving meditation every morning to ‘shake all the thoughts out of my head.’
I discovered the challenge of long, deep stretches and a personal restorative yoga practice. I discovered a new love for the anatomy of the shoulder girdle and rotator cuff as I delved into possibilities for yoga as shoulder physical therapy. I discovered that I could still be proud of my body even with an injured shoulder. It was a long process full of tears, fears and self-questioning.
Even in my times of pain and frustration, I tried to remember that I could be grateful for the things my body COULD do, instead of focusing solely on the things that it COULDN’T do. I tried to be grateful that I had a body.
I started using the mantra “healing and gratitude” during my personal meditation sessions. I even went so far as to write my body a Thank You Card. The card was realistic: it recognized that my body could not perform backbends, chaturanga push-ups, twists, or any of the poses that I wrote on my 2015 “Resolve Board” at the moment, but it said “Thank You” for being a body that could breathe, walk, hug and teach. It was really cheesy. And really wonderful.
Are you grateful for your body? Have you told it so lately? How can you say “Thanks” to yourself by providing a moment of self-care? (Hint… a yin yoga class at Westport Yoga KC and a luxurious bath? a healthy green smoothie? a moment of sitting still? )
Say “Thanks” today. You may need to hear it.