Darn yoga-related injury making me wax philosophical

As on many other Fridays, I went to my favorite yoga studio (Dharma Yoga) and everything was great. I was a little stiff on Saturday. On Sunday I was uncomfortable. And then, yesterday, there was definite pain in my ribs. I should say more pain and in a different spot, as I have had consistent pain on the left lower ribs in front–and this new pain is in the back right side.

So, I was feeling better this morning when (and how silly of me) I opened the fridge to get my lunch. I mean, obviously this would cause a spasm around my entire lower ribcage. Duh! Happens all the time, right?

As I lie there immobilized on the couch, panting shallow breaths so as not to aggravate the charlie horse crushing my ribs, I wondered why I ever took up yoga in the first place. “Ugh, I quit. I just keep getting injured. I should just stick to walking, since I tore cartilage in in ankle when jogging. Old grey mare just ain’t what she used to be.” Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Maybe this is just the muscle relaxer talking, but how cool would it be if one day I could touch my head to my heels? This pic was from July, and I have been working on the pose since then. I don’t know how much closer to a full expression of the pose I have gotten, but I am finding it a much more pleasant experience than before. Meaning, I can actually breathe easy while leaning back.

I am not by nature very flexible–in just about every meaning of the term. In fact, the people who know me well can find me to be quite cold, severe, unbending, and stubborn. So, my life’s challenge has been to find a way for me to move towards warmth and acceptance. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being strong and well-grounded. At times, I count these among my better qualities. I won’t back down, and I always look out for my peeps.

Yet conflict, be it with other lawyers or even my three year old, becomes easier for me to handle when I remember that the other person has their own tightly-held point of view just as I have mine. Can I truly listen to their words and the meaning behind them without flying into a rage myself? Yes, I can.

Should I give in to their demands? Oh, isn’t that the wrong question to ask! Here’s a story for you that might illustrate the point. I was having lunch with a good friend of mine who never wanted children and can’t really stand to be around them much. I started complaining about the fits my kid has when he demands, “More rabbit yogurt!” The rabbit yogurt (Trix Brand) is chock-full of sugar. I never should have bought it in the first place.

My friend looks me straight in the eye and smiles sweetly. “But at least it’s yogurt. That’s healthy, right?” He clearly did not comprehend why I would deny my child a food like yogurt just to make a health-nut point.

Right. Talk about severe and unbending! All the kid wants is some yogurt. It’s not like he’s on a steady diet of candy bars and ice cream. He wants two yogurts in the afternoon. He’s hungry; he doesn’t get to choose he foods at school; and that yogurt is really tasty. Why should I impose my food issues on the child? Sure, it’s a little sugary. But in the grand scheme of things, that’s not a problem worth standing up against. It’s just yogurt.

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