I have to admit that November has been a horribly depressing month. The election, my mom moving back to New Mexico from Hawai’i, and the passing of my Grandmother are all events that have checkered me in recent days. I think I am still in the shock/denial stage. As a mental health counselor, I recognize that these events need high level coping skills and interventions if I’m going to stay on the unlocked side of the psychiatric facility where I do assessments weekly.
A few coping skills that have helped me tremendously are my yoga practice, gardening, talking to my wife, and utilizing my colleagues who are also mental health professionals and are generous with their listening skills.
I light of these recent events, I have to admit that my yoga practice has been lackluster of late. For me that means asana practice every other day or so. After subbing last month intensively, I was wiped out. Most of my practice lately has consisted of supported postures. Normally, I like to experiment, but now I am just going back to what feels normalizing.
I have also started a garden as seen in my previous post. I was a bit pessimistic as I have not had success in growing things in the past. My wife and I tried growing upside down tomatoes a few years back and put too much calcium in the soil only to grow a tomato as hard as a rock. But lately as I have been spending time in it, I am noticing tremendous success. Things are spouting everywhere. I can spend an hour in my garden just in awe of the new life.
Today I had my first teacher training in a few months as my teachers have been away. I was extremely nervous about the training because of my aforementioned backsliding in practice. Today we went over the fine details of Pincha Mayurasana, or peacock feather pose. My teachers Ray and Shelley emphasized the importance of the base by rolling the forearms in and lifting the biceps to resist the back going toward the wall for prep. My teachers gave me a good feeling about my teaching abilities and I was able to execute the pose well.
Ironically, all the squatting and forward bending I have been doing in my garden has also given me a “secondary” yoga practice outside my field of awareness. Shelley gave instructions for Malasana which has always been my nemesis pose due to my inability for me to get my heels on the ground. Today the pose was still difficult, but I can feel more ease due to my constant squatting in my garden. It’s funny how yoga works its way into your life even when It’s not in your life. Hopefully, I make it through this month and not lose my sense of humor. Once that goes, forget it!