I've just returned to practicing yoga after a year and a bit hiatus. My physiotherapist banned me from yoga until I got some other issues sorted out, and I've finally been allowed to go back because my shoulders and neck have been really suffering. I did yoga a lot when I first moved out West - free classes offered through the gym were a welcome antidote to my desk job until they became too painful to continue.
Today was my fourth class back and I'm still doing the free classes through work. It feels different this time around. I have to be very conscious of my form so I don't hurt myself, taking modifications, and knowing when I should hold back instead of pushing myself. I'm not sure if this imposed mindfulness is the reason, but yoga has brought me a certain awareness this time. I had a moment in class today, where I could so clearly see the barriers I've put in place in other parts of my life that are holding me back from achieving the things I want to do. Everything was so obvious and the path forward seemed so clear. Hours later, the clarity is now receding, but this flash of self-awareness has motivated me to move forward.
Last weekend we were blessed with fresh snow and beautiful weather - prime ski conditions! The boyfriend and I went out to Sunshine Village on the Saturday and had a great day skiing around the mountain...and then he decided it was time for me to learn how to ski moguls. Now, I hate moguls. HATE them. Why? Because I'm afraid of them. As a little kid, the bumps were always icy and hard, and they would bounce me around until I fell over. I still don't like rough terrain (in fact, earlier that same day I followed the BF down to a choppy run, froze and started crying and hyperventilating at the top while he was oblivious to the fact that I wasn't following right behind him). It bounces you around and it's hard to turn and you go too fast and it's SCAREY. So we went to a mogul run. I tried a couple of turns, failed, and left for more level terrain. And then I tried it again. "Commit!" the boyfriend said. "You have to commit to the turn, you have to be aggressive." Ok, I think. Pick your line. Traverse. Pole plant. Shift your weight, and "Turn. Turn, dammnit! Commit and TURN!" And I turned! Again, I yelled, "TURN! COMMIT!" and again I turned. I committed and turned all the way down that run, dammit, and I made it. I sounded like I was crazy, but it worked.
I learned the lesson that day on the ski hill and saw it clearly today on the yoga mat. I put barriers in place, I don't commit, I don't follow through because I'm afraid of doing it wrong. Of completely losing my balance, getting bounced around and maybe even falling top over tea kettle. Of screwing things up really badly. This is why, after 5 years of reading and learning about Wicca and Paganism, I have little to show for it other than a collection of books. I'm afraid of doing it wrong. I am worried about feeling stupid, being judged, about offending these mysterious gods and goddesses, of screwing things up really badly, or worst of all - of finding out that I've been wrong all along and should have just kept with Catholicism.
Like in skiing, you have to commit to be successful in any spiritual practice. Tomorrow is Ostara, a sabbat of new beginnings. I have celebrated few sabbats as I never know what I should be doing -rituals pre-written in books never seem quite right. But you have to start somewhere. I haven't quite decided what I'll do yet, but I'll do something. Turn over a new leaf. Commit.