This evening, I took a class called hot yin. It involves deep stretching and holding fewer poses for longer periods of time. I wanted to sweat a little bit more and to feel a little bit more fluid through the series, but it was good to stretch. I did not inform my teacher beforehand that I have an impairment, but she kept an eye on me because she could see my mobility challenges. She helped me modify the poses that were tough for me, and gently guided me through them – physically and emotionally – without criticizing me. I didn’t feel patronized and I didn’t feel like she was babying me, particularly since she also helped others and modified difficult poses for them, and because there were others in the class who – like me – had never before participated in a yin class.
I look forward to returning to vinyasa tomorrow evening. I am eager to build my practice and to continue working on my strength, flexibility, and balance through this new form of yoga. I feel empowered in a way I haven’t in a very long time, and like I have added a layer of new meaning to my life. My decision to go to yoga was entirely self-motivated – rather than at the recommendation or request of a health professional or someone close to me – so I feel as though I am doing this for myself and my own well-being rather than to please or appease someone else. I think this is where strength and true transformation come from. My heart – and thus the rest of me – wouldn’t fully be in this if I were doing this with someone else’s intentions, wishes, or feelings in mind. I’ve spent so much of my life and my rehabilitative journey trying to please other people. I feel a lot stronger and committed to this work because I know I am doing it entirely on my own and for myself. As selfish as that seems, I think it’s the best approach I can take to my therapeutic process.