it's been a while. which unfortunately is also indicative of my yoga practice. i was on quite good there for a while but then about two weeks ago i started having pretty severe back pain. it's nothing new...i've struggled with back pain for a while but this was a new sensation. i spent a good portion of a week delving into slow, silent, meditative practices trying to decipher and decode whatever the message was behind the pain but to no avail...or so i thought. it appears the main issue is flexibility...if i push too far in one direction..the other gets stuck...and vice versa. i always find the physical manifestation of things quite interesting. i am definitely one of those people who believes most everything that shows up physically has emotional and spiritual dimensions to it. maybe i read too much into it but so far every time i have had an illness, an ache, a pain...it has always led me to some deeper understanding of myself. and in this case...life. i can't quite gauge why or when the pain started...only that it showed up in the midst of a deep practice...and caused me to sit in meditation for a long time after the asana trying to tap into what was going on.
as i said...this has been going on for a while but is more intense and in a different light than it has ever been before. the main focus seems to be balance...cultivating balance in movement, thought, intention, work. so last week was our mid service training for peace corps. my entire group that i arrived with was on saint lucia for a week long gathering of inspiration, creation, intention all culminating in an end balance that seemed to bring everything full circle. at least to this point. we stayed in a really nice hotel with hot water and nice beds and good food...but in the heart of rodney bay which is the most touristy area one could find in saint lucia. so here we are...service workers living by simple means thrust into the role of tourist...the exact role we have worked to avoid...the label we have eschewed for over a year. balance.
but the balance didn't come...at least for me...until it was all said and done. i was well aware that i was not assuming the role of "that white girl" while in rodney bay, my neighborhood, for the week. i was any white girl. i was anonymous...unassuming. even though i ran into people i knew around every corner. even though my home is only a stones throw away...i shed the cloak i have worn for the last year and a half and slipped into america. it was odd. but when i came home friday afternoon, the reality of who i am and where i am washed back over me. about halfway up the road that leads home..the scents became familiar and the sounds brought me back. balance.
i would be joking if i said i didn't struggle for a day or two...the rush of ants and mosquitoes that didn't seem to exist at the hotel...the cold, cold showers, the sunken in bed....the lack of inspirational, deeply philosophical conversation...the silence. it took me a series of long, deep breaths by the beach in solitude before i was able to begin to snap back into me. here. in saint lucia. and with that awareness also came a new awakening...of how far i have come...how far all of these people i can truly call my friends...my family...have come here in the eastern caribbean. we have become balance. teetering between two worlds with the ability to exist softly in either while pushing back deeply in each. balance.
so back. back...i had another physical therapy session today. where i had accupuncture. and it opened up some of that energy that has been stagnant. the energy that has been stuck between two worlds...that of then and now. i know i still have a lot of work to do...but the journey...and the ability to teeter softly may elicit just the right balance i need to bend back when needed or push forward when it's right. balance.
i hope the healing of pain continues so that i may come back to my mat...and begin again with a thirty day challenge...and a new awareness of what i have yet to find.