Go Forward, Don't Go Back
A Serious Talk with Myself
by Tracey Rich
Consciously or not, we are always trying to get back to something. When we practice, we compare what we are doing to what has gone before. The pose we know. Being present is a challenge in most arenas, especially as our brains are being trained to the illusion of multitasking. I'm quite a pro. I should know.
Recently, on a hopeful healing path toward restoring balance to my lower back, I realized I too am trying to get back to being able to do everything I could always do with my body. This includes my aerobic housecleaning, which Ganga always references as my physical practice of choice. In a way, that's true. I would like to just be able to bend over and pick something up without a train wreck. I know the tricks and the tools that right the wrongs when my body is out of whack. But even as I use my previously foolproof magic yogic tricks, rebalance alludes me. Then one day, bending down to pick up a piece of paper, thankfully it dawned in my brain, like the reverberation of temple bells, that I was trying to get back to something.
Just like I have taught a thousand times, I needed a perspective adjustment that would allow for new parameters to be my new normal. In order to be present in hopes of restoring balance to my body, I need to go forward from where I am now. I can't go back to some imagined place as the context for my wellbeing. There's no going back.
Ganga has a great principle in Yoga Beyond Belief. "Start where you are and stay there." Injury is a great teacher. And like a teacher, it sometimes puts you in your place. I can not believe how many times in this body I have had to put my training wheels back on. My new normal is right here, and it gives me a new horizon.