Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Upside Down and Grateful

I have learned that there is always something to be grateful for.  Some days it is harder to embrace this truth than others.  Conversely, on the hardest days, I often feel gratitude overflowing for the simplest of things: the breeze rustling the leaves, the song of a bird, the next deep breath of fresh air.

Over the past few days my mother has been unwell.  She has been ill with a form of Alzheimer's for almost ten years and is now severely affected.  When she has a bad spell alarm bells ring, distress and helplessness kick in, and I feel like a small child again, but without my mother.  It is a sad place.

Today I am filled with gratitude for my yoga practice.  An hour on the yoga mat this morning and all the physical signs of distress in my body have floated away.  I can cope again.

It was with my Mum that I first started practising yoga.  I was a teenager and together we went to classes in a local church hall.  I came back to it a few days before Christmas last year, eighteen months after my sister died, having lost her year long battle to recover from a devastating brain haemorrhage. I stood looking out of the window into the garden, feeling the stress I had come to accept as normal and I had a moment of epiphany.  I understood that everything had to change and knew, without question, how I would change it: through yoga.

Even as I stood there, watching a great tit on the peanut feeder in front of the window, I saw this yoga in front of me as a way of life, not a once weekly class.  That vision excited me.  And, amazingly for me, I had no doubts.  I started my practice on New Year's Day.  

My yoga journey feels personal and I don't like making a song and dance of things. Yet it is turning my life upside down in ways for which I have such enormous gratitude that it feels wrong not to share. So, when you see a post preceded by the 'Upside Down and Grateful' banner, you will know there is some yoga in there somewhere although, truly, it's all part and parcel of trying to be a hopeful traveller.

I had hoped to turn my little blue warrior upside down.  Perhaps I will manage it yet!  I think of him as a yoga warrior.  

My Mum seems a little better today.      

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