Hello! Is it possible to age in reverse? No. Is it possible to create a healthier body internally, a more youthful appearance externally, than one maintained in the past, creating the feeling that one is younger? Yes! And, it has happened to me. Please, therefore, enjoy the great love story of my youthful November!
It hit me like a rock on Election Night. On this most historic of evenings, I completed the strongest, safest, most graceful, most advanced Ashtanga yoga practice of my existence. My back felt as though it had grown space, length, and light. Twisting, oh so deeply, I touched into regions of my spine that I knew not existed. Each vertebrae, singing, contributed harmony, melody, and rhythm to the collective symphony of my divinely sophisticated vertebral column, infusing life into my grand vessel of a body. It was love!
On the day after Election Night, everything in my being continued feeling differently. Awakened. Happy. As though I were exploring a foreign country and its amazing landscape, culture, and air. For the past three months, I have felt this way about my body, but the sudden change in the quality of my back added a new flavour to the recipe. And OH have I been adoring every experience from that Election Day forward, as a result. I feel high. Like a skyscraper.
Why is this information significant? As my dedicated readership knows, I suffered from an eating disorder for 17 years, 11 of which were bulimia, the remaining six spent in turmoil trying to find my way to healthy. To my normal. Formally declaring my sobriety date from all disordered behaviours on 21 August of this year, just three months ago, I’m living in this crazy wild place where everything is perfect, clean, and joyful. Thus I am writing about it, to maybe inspire those in the trenches with their eating, or with whatever struggle they experience, to know that it’s quite possible to create their own solution for becoming happy. How does this relate to my isolated back?
Last year, at this time, I injured myself. Severely. Pushing daily with a Full Vinyasa Primary Series, plus dabbling into the Secondary Series of Ashtanga yoga before my body was ready, I busted my ankle and became fat for the umpteenth time in my life. The Secondary Series of Ashtanga yoga must not be entered until the body is proficient in the first, yet, my yoga ego, or should I say my addiction to burning calories plus my human ego, afforded me permission. In response, the practice scolded me. The Secondary Series of Ashtanga yoga is known to be nerve-cleansing, a dramatic resultant of the backbending. If you have experienced this series, you have summoned a tingly feeling at practice closure, I am certain. Thus, in addition to busting of my ankle, the practice did something else to me, something which I have not mentioned publicly until this moment.
I developed a hard bump on my mid-back, to the left of my spinal column. It felt like a jelly bean, embedded into the muscle. And, it didn’t leave. Something about venturing into this Secondary Series prematurely caused emotion to rise to the surface in my back, and, as I believe, and most scientific doctors will call this phooey, creating an expression of my pain. And I ignored it, except for once weekly, reaching around to touch it. And, when practicing MarychiasanaC on the left side, the tightness of wrapped arms hit exactly that spot, reminding me of the pain, physically and emotionally. It was the most abnormal thing on my body that I could not control. Or could I?
Last week, on Election Night, on the night that I experienced the most vibrant practice of my life, I felt as though my bump had vanished into the night. Over one year later, could it be gone? Yes, it was gone. I am now practicing the Secondary Series again, not daily, but as variant to my Primary Series practice, and I think, with all of my soul, that my nerves have been cleansed by this potent practice, causing the bump and pain to depart. I’m permitting my body to completely release in savasana, feeling the back as it breathes into the mat. There are new sensations in everything that I do. New range of motion. New breath. I’m like a baby discovering her body. Have I aged in reverse? No. But this experience is astounding.
My mind is permitting me to celebrate the success of recovery. And it is very thrilling. Please discuss in the comments about how you are celebrating your body and life! Namaste.