Today I think I had a breakup with the beverage I used to really love. I could always depend on it to give me kick when I needed to get my ass and/or my brain into action, I loved the smell (and still do to be honest), and I like the taste, but today I did not like what that regular cappuccino did to me. I’m not sure if I accidentally ended up with a double shot (I’m also not sure I’ll ever get to sleep tonight!), but about 30 minutes after finishing my coffee I was a trembling, heart palpitating mess, on my yoga mat, cursing the moment I step foot in Starbucks. All of a sudden I realised that no I hadn’t really been so tired that I needed a caffeine boost, and worst of all now I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy my yoga practice I’d been looking forward to all day because how could I connect with this (my) suddenly trembly body?
Acknowledging not being in my body and resenting it…interesting scenario for someone who recently spent a 9 day teacher training course battling with her own lack of connection. I know I’ve been rather quiet of late, and I feel bad that I promised to write my blog whilst doing my Forrest Advanced TTC and then not a peep from me. I’d like to apologise but we don’t do that in Forrest so I’ll just say “I’m sexy” (the replacement phrase we adopt to make ourselves stop apologising for everything all the bloody time – I’m sorry for being alive and taking up space on this planet – no, I’m sexy not sorry!) Jokes aside I didn’t write because I didn’t know what to write. I often put this immense pressure on myself to be writing something profound on this blog; I don’t know why, I’m not even sure who even reads it, and the fact that my sister calls me “the Carrie Bradshaw of the yoga world” suggests that maybe I’ve never written anything profound and that actually I don’t need to anyway. (I’ll keep you posted when there’s a photo of me doing a yoga pose in a tutu on the side of a bus!) Anyway the pressure of being perfect has worn rather thin so I’ve decided to just be honest.
I realised on this training that even when you think you know what you want to work on in yourself, you sometimes have missed the point. That what you think is the issue actually isn’t and something you never dreamed of being the issue indeed is. Confusing and challenging stuff. Being determined not to waste the 9 days I had to sift through my “baggage” I ended up completely in my head. And jet lag, training at altitude, PMT and general exhaustion made that a messy one I can tell you. I discovered that I’m really good at convincing myself I’m feeling something and in the process miss what I really ought to be feeling. It seemed my body wasn’t going to stand for this ‘not being in my body’ bullshit this time. Late afternoon on the second day: knee twinged, I winced, swore profusely and ignored it for a good 2 hours, knee screamed at me, I caved and cried… a lot. Cue ice, epsom salt baths that could challenge the dead sea, and an annoying legging-unfriendly knee support (or maybe that’s just the Carrie Bradshaw in me thinking out loud). By the end of day three though I kind of got it – having a sore knee gave me no choice but to get the hell back in my body – particularly if I didn’t want it to get worse. It helped me to start filtering through “the stories” in my head and it helped me to discover the places where I assumed I had connection in my body but actually didn’t. I was shocked to realise that I actually couldn’t feel or turn on my leg muscles, especially my quads; I also got pretty fascinated with my feet and how playing with the pressure distribution in them changes what you feel in your legs and takes pressure off the knee.
I came to a pretty big realisation on this training and I think that perhaps this knee “thing” was one of the things I needed to happen to help me get to the place I needed to reach – they say that when the student is ready the teacher will appear, I guess I just never thought that I could learn something from my knee! There’s a whole host of other factors that I could and maybe will talk about at some point – we’ll see. I feel really grateful to have had the experience of working with such an inspirational, tuned-in teaching team, and to have shared my training with an amazing group of fellow trainees. I’m also grateful to the person who had to listen to me feeling sorry for myself more than anyone else, and still made me cups of tea, made me laugh and even ran me my dead sea bath. 🙂
Back to the title – today I did not enjoy the way coffee made me feel one bit; it made me feel squiggly, and buzzy, in my body yet out of it at the same time. Last year I gave up coffee for a good 6 months – I slept better, my nervous system felt much calmer, and I survived quite happily without it. God only knows why I started drinking it again – as a lifelong insomniac I do know better. I’ve made a step to connecting better with myself and I’d quite like to keep working on it, so it’s been a mostly delightful (although sometimes watery, instant and not so delicious) relationship espresso, but I fear we must part and go our separate ways. I may even have found a new love…wait for it…bacon…but that’s a whole other story!
Now, someone put the kettle on and make me a cup of tea!