Monday, November 22, 2010


I missed yoga last week because I got back too late from Dana-Farber. This week my choice was today at 9:15 a.m. or nothing.

Maddie woke me up around 7, and I decided against going back to bed in favor of getting to yoga. After Maddie got what she wanted – a walk and a meal – I had cereal and coffee. I went into the den with a section of the paper and sat next to Maddie, who was curled up in her corner of the couch.

I fell asleep and woke up a little after 9. Uncharacteristically for slow-moving me, I quickly threw on some (rumpled) yoga clothes and got to class just a few minutes late.

Erin read a few lines about the power of love, and suggested that we all make love in its many incarnations the center of our practice.

I did the poses with no problems until we came to the standing ones, which are hard because my balance is still not normal. I thought I was in trouble when we came to half moon, which involves keeping one foot on the ground, placing one hand down and then turning to the side with the other leg and arm raised.

I don't have the balance to do it, and as I watched everyone get into the pose, I thought, "Hmmmm, I wonder what I'm supposed to do now."

And suddenly, miraculously, a chair appeared in front of me. I leaned on it instead of having to reach for the floor.

It wasn't miraculously, of course. Erin had known what I needed and had quietly gone over to get the chair and place it in front of me. I did a supported version of the pose, opening up and feeling released from my fear of falling.

I was grateful for the gesture. And I breathed in love.


Sarah Lynn said...

Hey there!

I've been following your blog for a little while now, and honestly, I don't remember if I've commented before or not!

About a year and a half ago I was diagnosed with AML. I found your blog not long after. I've been very bad at keeping up with mine, but I'm on a mission to try harder now! Please feel free to check it out :)

This post about yoga was awesome. I'm in love with yoga. Physically though, I totally understand where you're coming from - it's not always easy. I'm blessed to have an amazing instructor that helps in any way he can, and it seems you have that too!

<3 Sarah

Julie Goodale said...

Hi Ronnie,
So glad you stopped by my blog - I'm really happy to have found your blog!

This is a great post about modification & getting what we need. I had a yoga teacher years ago who used to talk about the intention of the pose. She was amazing in being able to accomodate other teachers & people with illness/serious injury all at the same time. I had a spinal injury at the time (from being run down by bad taxi driver). She would quickly figure out modifications for every pose that kept me moving toward the "intention" of the pose.

That idea infused my recovery from injury/surgery, and again after surgery for BC. And it continues to infuse the fitness work I do w/ other cancer survivors. We can all always do every exercise - we just have to figure out the best way for our body right now.

And I also love how, when we need it, what we need so often appears.

I look forward to reading more from you.