A voice comes over the speaker system. It’s the captain speaking.
“There’s a bit of a queue to land at the airport, we’re in a holding pattern waiting for a spot to open. Should be about 30 mins…” (It’s almost always more than 30 mins…) The plane circles and circles and all you want to do is land and get where you’re going.
If you haven’t experienced this on a plane flight you’ve probably experienced this in your life at some stage, and for me, it seemed that I was in a holding pattern for a good chunk of the latter half of last year.
After finally sorting out my sacroiliac joint pain by strengthening my gluteus medius. I found myself with back pain that I had never had before. It limited my personal practice and my ability to demonstrate poses in class. It affected my pranayama and my sleep.
I was in a holding pattern in my physical practice and my teaching practice.
It got so bad, it was throwing out other systems in my body and my awesome Chiropractor was beginning to look concerned. She requested I get a scan to see what was going on.
So I went to my GP got the referral for the scans and blood tests – fearing it was an autoimmune disease (which is inherent in my family) and went for the tests.
They showed a normal healthy spine and no markers for the autoimmune diseases we were concerned about. YAY but still no answers to what was causing me the pain.
I am so grateful that I have such a great chiro that when I saw her next she was open to listening and exploring what I thought was the problem. Turns out I was right and with a few weekly visits it seems to be better!
I also have been in a holding pattern with getting approval to have classes at the home shala. The original application was put into council in May but I opened a can of worms that is still waiting on approval!
If it was the old patterning in me, I would have gone into overdrive, pushing to get an answer or to make the approval happen ASAP. I would have obsessed, shouted, written aggressive and pushy emails. I would have made my family’s life awful as I moaned and obsessively went over the scenario to them. I would have gotten jealous that other yoga teachers are achieving their dream while here I am waiting! I would have lay awake, tossing and turning going through all the different (and in real life implausible) scenarios that could happen to make or break the approval process. I’d have a plan B or C or Z Mark 1000.
I’d push my body, teach the poses that hurt me. Not express to my students that I was unable to do a pose for fear of looking like a fraud. I would have stuck to a practice that I had invested so much time and money on that was not healthy for my body. I would hate my body for letting me down. I would have lay awake at night obsessing about autoimmune diseases that would leave me in immense pain and on awful chemicals to control it. I wouldn’t have the courage to tell a health professional what I thought was the issue.
BUT that didn’t happen! I have had no anxiety over the health issues or planning approval. That for me is immense! So Awesome.
I will admit there have been times where I have been frustrated and sad about the situation, allowing myself to feel those emotions and more importantly letting them go is the difference.
That absolutely would not have happened without my yoga practice.
When I teach my beginner’s course I explain that asana changes the patterning in our body. When we practice regularly and with commitment, we lay down new, beneficial neural pathways and reinforce them. We become aware of our old unhealthy ways and patterns and choose healthier ones. We aren’t triggered like we used to be and in fact, act from a place of love and contentment.
With a meditation practice we gain control over our mind and tell it what to think, not the other way around. We can guide it from a way of thinking and being that we do not want to be to a way that we want to be. We can guide the mind back when it obsesses and over-thinks. We regain control and peace.
My practices have given me perspective, that the holding pattern is serving a purpose.
I’ve been able to sort out my clutter in my house so that when I do get approval and start teaching more classes it will be easier for me to keep organised and orderly.
I’ve refined being able to articulate what a student needs to move to create a pose without having to demonstrate.
I’ve also been able to show my students that asana fluctuates, there are poses that aren’t accessible or nurturing at times for us (or ever) and that there is a modification. Living authentically what I preach.
I’ve learned to trust my gut instinct again and to speak my truth.
I’m reminded to let go of the fruits of our labour and submit to being content and allowing that wherever I am in the process, that is where I am meant to be.
It is an invaluable system for our wellbeing, I will be eternally grateful for it and to it. It is the reason I want to share yoga with you, so that you too, may find peace and contentment and empowerment to change some of the patterns within that bother you and come back to your true self.