Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On Gratitude

I've been fighting a doozy of a cold for a week. It's like a foul weather system caught up in a stationary front: I don't feel any better than I did immediately after my fever broke last Wednesday, but I haven't worsened, either. I'm just hacking up a lung and sniffling. Please don't tell me this is the new normal.

I've sort of freaked out about how much this cold would set back my fitness. Taking a deep breath is difficult. I haven't run since two Mondays ago. I've canceled 4 runs, 3 yoga classes (including tonight) and 1 Fuse class that I was going to take. I also canceled one yoga class that I was going to assist. Nevertheless, I dragged my type A-minus self to a reformer class on Thursday, and on Saturday, I did back-to-back sessions of yoga and Fuse...and then promptly took a 2-hour nap to recover from the latter – gah. I get it. You win this round, cold.

I don't often blog about yoga because everyone's experience is different, and there is no "right" or "wrong" experience in yoga. But being bedridden for the first time in a long while gave me time to slow down and reminded me that I don't always practice what I teach. Earlier this month, I taught a couple of community yoga classes at Quiet Mind, and during the most recent class, I invited (yogis invite fellow practitioners to explore stuff, one reason being that teachers consider themselves as guides, and the real teacher resides within the practitioner...but, enough about philosophy) the class to consider something that they're grateful for, and use that as their intention for that particular class. Gratitude, not surprisingly, is a common theme among teachers in November. Anyway, despite inviting students to set an intention for their practice related to gratitude, I haven't really thought much about what it is that I'm grateful for. [Confession: while you're setting your intention, I'm meditating on putting together a cohesive class, or at least hoping you don't notice if it's not cohesive. I've already given up on distinguishing between left and right.]

Well, now I have considered what I'm grateful for:

My health and that of those around me. Sure, this cold sucks, but it'll be gone in another week (hopefully). However, without my health, everything else would be a lot more challenging. And, for what it's worth, my family's health is pretty decent, too. Yay!

Family. Yes, mine drives me nuts. But, on some level, they get me. My brother has been known to humor me by skiing with me in the Catskills. Back in the 80s, I did my first sun salutation with my mom. And this year, for the first time, my dad saw me run a road race. This year, I also got to spend time with some family members whom I haven't seen since the early 90s, including a cousin who lived less than an hour away from me when I was in Seattle.

Friends. It's been such a treat to go hiking, skiing (man, some of the old skiing posts are just lame), and just driving across the country with pals, old and new.

This American Thanksgiving, I'm grateful that I'll be able to schlep my sick self onto an Amtrak train to go see my family. I'll worry about the precipitous decline in my fitness another day.

~~ Namaste ~~



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