January 2022 - new intentions
We are already a week into the New Year. I usually have an intention or a focus or “resolution” as we all do at the start of something new.
Sometimes we just need to close our eyes and envision where we are going, where we want to go, see ourselves doing something new, organizing, grounding, healing the body, being in a relationship, doing the job….we want to repeat our new thoughts over and over in our minds to give our direction the energy it needs to shift out of an old pattern and set our sights on the positive future.
Change is good… it keeps our creative juices flowing, it supports our new path, our health, our joy, our enthusiasm for life. So visualize where you see yourself going, to a situation you want to be in or a place that will be our “new normal.”
My world certainly looks different than I imagined it might, several years ago. My focus has changed, and I feel myself moving in a similar direction, yet with different goals in mind. As you may already know, I am in the recovery stages of a total knee replacement I had – just before Christmas. I am hoping to go back to my job at the YMCA teaching fitness classes with increased vigor and enthusiasm, strength and energy. I am currently in Physical Therapy a couple of days a week to help me strengthen my knee and reclaim my range of motion. My initial thoughts (before surgery of course)… was about 6 weeks of recovery and I’d be back to my old self. Well, I am now concentrating more on healing…body and mind, and thinking that a return will be in small steps, incrementally return to teaching classes. My “New normal” might look a little different for 2022.
I believe I will be able to do teach chair yoga first, maybe even a Pilates class once a week…. As strength returns I will probably be able to teach the Silver Sneakers Cardio Circuit class that I enjoy so much. The “hitch in the get-along” is Yoga on the mat. My flexibility in my knee joint and even the ability to set my knee down on the mat (or even supported with a blanket) is in question. I tried doing a very basic yoga routine on my mat in the privacy of my home work out area… and it was so difficult – all I could do was cry…. Big tears of disappointment …whether it was because of pain, or the fact that I wasn’t where I thought I would be after 6 weeks – I couldn’t tell you. Each day feels like a fight…. A painful push forward toward a goal.
My philosophy with my yoga students, has always been to “modify”, take an “option”, to “start where you are” and move on from there. I feel caught between a rock and a hard place…. Yoga is my first love….I was always a physically flexible person (which is probably why I first found a yoga practice in college); and although we (as instructors) say to students…. “It’s not about flexibility” – it’s about connecting breath to your mind…bringing awareness to the whole system of our being….. a path to discover ourselves….a practice to control the senses and ultimately, the mind…. Unfortunately, we have tended to focus on the physical aspects of the practice – when there is so much more. Now that my flexibility is limited, and putting my knee down on the mat is almost impossible for a long times (we’re talking months/years) – my ‘rock and hard place’ is whether to just do what I can do physically and continue to bring opportunity and a safe space on the mat for my students; or to back off, and let someone else continue teaching, that does have the physical strength and flexibility to actually demonstrate the poses/the postures, the possibilities of doing more, pushing ourselves further forward physically and mentally. I’m conflicted.
So, my dilemma…… to let go of what is difficult and painful for me, personally….(where I am not the same body that taught higher energy classes, physically demanding yoga, and competitive athletics) and focus my direction for “helping” to create a fun and happy place for us all to ‘exercise’. I can do that (I believe) with my “Silver Sneakers”; my seniors that are looking for a goal of being healthy and happy, and finding gentle movement to keep pain away, and spirits high -- so we can continue living our best lives… enjoying those pursuits that bring us joy and happiness.
Years ago, a very close friend, gifted me with a book, entitled “Expect Good Things”, by Lynne Garard, and it is a quote from this book that I leave you with as we forge ahead, plan a new year 2022 with excitement and potential. “To age well, we must continue to dream, for it is reaching for dreams that keeps us forever young at heart.”
Trust your heart, find your path, and continue onward with positive thoughts for this New Year. We all have our own “dilemmas, and concerns”……I hope to see you all either on social media, at the YMCA, or someplace where we can laugh and love and continue to dream, together.