Today has been my third day at completing some sort of yoga sequence in the morning. I’ve decided I really enjoy doing yoga in the morning because it’s not full on “exercise” that involves lots of vigorous movement, but still lengthens my muscles enough that I feel ready to move through the day and gets my mind and breath in tune. On Sunday I began Neila Rey’s ‘90 Days of Action‘ exercise routine, as a way to slowly work up my body’s tolerance for more vigorous exercise and still allowing me to check in with how it feels. Her workouts are short but tough and so just after 2 days, it was extremely hard to get out of bed today. To be clear as we move forward in my posts, I want to put it out there that I’ve been living with fibromyalgia for some time now. Though it can be extremely difficult at times to live with, especially when trying to pursue health and fitness goals, I’ve been working on feeling kindness towards my fibromyalgia. 2014 was the year where I used many ‘issues’ in my life to be reasons to fuel my negative emotions, and basically justify the emotions and the often unhealthy behaviors that came with them. After some reading and talking with others in a support group for mindful awareness, I decided that I was not going to let my fibromyalgia or any other health issues stand in the way of me being the best person I could be.
I remember one day whilst showering, I just broke down. My body was in so much pain, my head was just so foggy. My mind was racing and I was feeling so bad for myself. I thought, “How am I supposed to live a healthy life if my fibromyalgia prevents so much?” But in this moment when water was rushing over my body, I breathed deep. I noticed the water and the steam, and just took it all in. I realized that I have a long life to live and that I don’t have to face my ‘issues’ alone. I didn’t have to feel sorry for myself and treat my fibromyalgia as my enemy. I needed to accept it as a part of me, not something that was working against me, but just something that makes me who I am. It doesn’t define me, it’s just one of the many pieces that make up who I am! This first step was really what motivated me to change how I approached my fitness and health for 2015, and how I wanted to approach it all through mindfulness and meditation practice. Instead of feeling jealousy or resentment towards others and their ability to just work out and eat clean without the feelings that I felt because of my fibro, I needed to just accept it as a part of me and work with it. I needed to believe that I can get healthy and fit, both in body and mind, but I just need to work with what I’ve got and make appropriate decisions based on that acceptance.
This is what brings me to my yoga and mindfulness practices in 2015, and this special place on my blog that will give a more personal side of me. I’m still learning everyday within my practice, and just hope to pass on bits of advice and things that worked (or haven’t) for me. It’s gonna get real, sometimes raw, but will always come from a place of kindness and forgiveness. The other day at the end of my yoga sequence during savasana, I cried. Just listening to Adriene reminding me of gratitude and to be thankful for the Earth underneath my body, allowing me to rest, just really was a “grounding” experience. I felt so compassionate and appreciate that I had that time to just rest, and be with my thoughts- whatever they were. I felt proud that I allowed myself to be so vulnerable, and give myself time to practice despite however my body or emotions were feeling. Today, when I awoke, I felt how I haven’t felt in a few weeks- that tired, sluggish, swollen-all-over feeling that just makes you want to get back into bed and say “Do-Over!”. But I slowly got out of bed, made myself smile to the day with cheer, and got on my carpet with Adriene. I’m not going to lie, some of the movements were really painful, but I also felt extremely empowered during that time because I had control over my body and how I wanted it to feel. I appreciated that I worked through my pain through compassionate mindfulness, by noticing how my body felt and not judging it but just noticing and making adjustments through my yoga and breathing. I left feeling more awake, flexible, and honestly my legs did not feel as sore as they did 20 minutes prior. I was thankful that I got up and would have today to make it what I wanted. ‘Til next post!