Primary Friday: The Rebuilding Process

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This has been my first full week of practice since the surgery and subsequent two-week sabbatical.  It's been an interesting process rebuilding the practice, full of surprises and deep-set soreness.  While my flexibility has, for the most part, remained intact, my upper body strength faded out much faster than I had hoped.  I also managed to lose the bind in Marichyasana D, so until I get that bind back, I'm parking myself in Primary.

It's been fun playing with Primary all week.  I've enjoyed cleaning up the vinyasas, polishing the jumps, and exaggerating the bandhas in all the forward bends.  I do miss the backbends of Intermediate but, frankly, I'm dreading what they might feel like when I do take up the Intermediate postures again.  The incision scars from the biopsy are in my armpit and at the hip crease, two major players in the process of opening up for the backbends, so I think it's safe to say that much rebuilding will need to take place to unlock those areas again.  As preparation, I've been doing an extra set of Urdhva Dhanurasana -- 6 repetitions in total -- before moving on to the finishing drop backs.

In addition to the daily Primary, I've attended several yoga classes this week, partly because I think the extra work will help me rebound more quickly, and partly because I've been craving that sense of community since the cancer scare.  It's been very healing to take classes from my teacher friends and to practice alongside my students in our shared sacred space.  I'd like to make a point of attending classes more regularly, to offer of myself at the studio in a different way.

Next week, I'll be flying home to visit with the family over labor day weekend.  It's hard to believe September is just around the corner.  This year has been such a wonderful, terrible blur -- one of the most transformative of my life.  I left an unfulfilling job with no savings to fall back on in order to follow my dreams, moved on from a long-term but long-dead relationship, moved into an apartment I love, took ownership of my health, let go of some bad habits, studied with two amazing teachers, completed my Associate's degree, and was forced to really and truly examine my life.  And just before the downpour, there was Ashtanga yoga.  I first took up Ashtanga Vinyasa in January of this year and it caused an enormous shift in my perspective.  I wonder now how I would have handled all this turbulence without this practice, without the refuge of its repetition and the honesty of its reflection... not so well, I think.

And the year's not over!  Before I know it, October will be dawning which, for me, means 3 STRAIGHT WEEKS of "teacher training" (yes, I know... let's not have a war about this, shall we?) with David Swenson.  I'm excited to get back into an intensive program and really immerse myself in the practice.


  1. Hmm, your post made me smile about how happy you seem...what an amazing year. I'm tired...I wish I could do my oil bath now, but it's late at night, haha :-), and I just got home from work. Hope you have a gorgeous weekend and thanks for all your posts, it keeps inspiring my practice!

  2. Beautiful piece! You're on your way to an amazing life!!!

  3. Your blog has been really inspiring and given me tons to think about this year. It's been a pretty huge journey for you and I want to say thank you for sharing it with us all. Really excited on your behalf about the teacher training!