Last September, I finished my 500-hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training Program. It was a yearlong exploration of all things yoga—including meditation, pranayama, restorative postures, spiritual creativity, Yin Yoga, and the Yoga Sutras. I learned a great deal, especially about myself. The culminating assignment of the ATT program was a 30-page thesis. I chose to write about how yoga has been the catalyst for profound changes that have occurred in my life emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually. I hosted a two-hour workshop about my transformation story, and shared my thesis with the attendees so they could read it in advance.
Here's what I am celebrating this week:
Over the years, I have learned the importance of paying careful attention to my body. When I notice small changes, I can alert my healthcare providers early enough to fend off more serious complications. The times when I have not been mindful, my symptoms got progressively worse. By the time I sought treatment, my disease was pretty advanced, and serious complications ensued (kidney failure, for one). So I have learned to notice everything, to track patterns and identify deviations. Among other things, I weigh myself almost daily, notice how much I’m sleeping, and look out for any aches and pains that develop. My yoga practice has been instrumental in providing me the tools needed for observation: acceptance, surrender, meditation, and pranayama.
Earlier this year, I started a gratitude practice. Each day, I list five things for which I am grateful. It's been recommended that I do it at night before falling asleep, but I haven't managed to incorporate it into my nightly routine. Instead, most mornings the first thing I do is think about what went well the previous day. Practicing gratitude daily hasn't been sufficient to keep the feelings of discouragement away, but still I plug on. These weekly Celebration posts are the highlights from the previous seven days.
This week, I am celebrating:
My heart is heavy. My heart has been heavy… for months. I have had to say goodbye to so much over the last year, and I feel the losses deep in my marrow. I closed down my yoga studio and watched my godmother Annie die of a very rare form of cancer. I have been counting up the money I invested in my studio, and I despair. I am afraid to hope and try again. I am wary of pursuing my dreams. I am fearful that the worst-case scenario will become my reality. I am feeling deeply discouraged.
Crystal Moore began her wellness quest in 2003 after being diagnosed with lupus. Her quest has led her to embrace yoga, faith, exercise, healthy eating, and relationships. Share her journey.