Is there more? I really don't know. In case, I've been asking my body, the universe, angels, life... for grace and ease. I still have discomfort in my back between my shoulder blades, but it's nothing like it was. It can be tender but no longer feels so vulnerable. I have a slight scoliosis there, the reminder/remainder of an injury that occurred young and went deep.
Now more than ever, I am in awe of the beautiful perfection that is yoga. The longer we practice, the deeper it goes. Over time as we work our way inward, we work our way backward through old traumas and injuries. Returning, as close as we are able, to our pre-injured state. As I eked my way into the places in my body that harbored pain, yoga showed me what was inside. But only once I'd acquired the strength and healing necessary for the truth to be liberating.
I'd been scarred with the deeply implanted message that my life was worthless. How could it be otherwise. This wasn't a notion I was ever cognizant of until now, in retrospect. I was almost fifty before I fully realized that I do have a place, a purpose, and a right to be alive. Until then, my life had filtered through the unconscious assumption that I didn't.
My first and dearest yoga teacher, has a friend who reads palms. I kept hearing wonderful things about this woman. So, for fun and armed with a tape recorder, I decided to have my palms read. I arrived sceptical and tight-lipped, I didn't want to give her any clues, but I was taken aback by her accuracy. A few years later I went to see her again and at the end of the session she asked, in her thick Romanian accent, if I had any questions. So I asked, "what can you tell me about my childhood?"
She was quiet for several minutes while she studied my hands. "I see you have some disturbing happening when you were very little. There was some kind of accident... or you almost lost your life... you know? and it affected... Some people remember childhood like it was the best thing that happened in their life but I don't see that in your hand. You had actually quite difficult childhood... that's why you are such a doer... you are driven. You try very hard to succeed. You want to do things so you have that strength... from where it comes I don't know. But we all do remember childhood... that it was ideal... like it was always easier in the life. But something happened in your childhood that was not easy, that was pretty hard for you."
I asked "I'm curious if you can see at what age that might have happened." "Okay" she said, "I see about the age of seven you came close to losing your life and it's very interesting because it's like you came back from there. Like you came so close to dying... you know? that you almost... like you understood something... or that we usually... people they don't..." English was not her first language and on occasion she grasped for words, and me I'm a chronic interrupter and interjected "like a near death experience?" She said "Ya! Ya! something like that, and that's why you don't trust yourself. It stems from very early period of your life and you think that you are not good enough... or you don't have enough qualities. But also it gave you something... even with that negative thing that you had in childhood, you recognize something. You have some gift with that time... or something that you learned...you know? Something very important that you will be using later on in your life."
This isn't proof of anything, I can't imagine a palm reading being admissible as evidence in court. But I find it interesting and, maybe it is pathetic but, validating, in a situation where victims are rarely validated and usually called liars. I spent the winter of 2005 living and working at an ashram. One evening, I found myself at supper seated across from a man who read faces. He spontaneously read mine with terrifying accuracy and I bought his book. The reason I mention him and face reading, has to do with admissibility, and court. This man was a lawyer, had been for some time if I remember correctly. He decided to take a face reading course, thinking it might help him with jury selection and eventually left law and went into face reading. Another small validation.
Yoga definitely salvaged, and may possibly have saved, my life. I am grateful to all of my teachers for the tools they shared which have enabled me to work/play, with/for/on, myself. I'm proud of myself for using those tools, generating healing, with the gentle, peaceful, powerful, compassionate, joyful... way that is yoga.
First, yoga awakened those places in my body that were asleep and numb to the pain that existed there. Eventually but inevitably I was, and continue to be, released from that pain. First, yoga gave me the self awareness to notice my constant companions, fear and self-loathing, shame and guilt, all the while transforming those weaknesses into strengths. Through yoga, I became aware of my inability to trust, how my first reaction always, always was "no", how much and how often I allowed fear to hold me back. Through yoga, my growing self awareness showed me how anxious, undeserving, out of place I felt almost all the time, but wakened me inevitably to deserving, belonging.