Gratitude: The Joy of Doing Tree Pose

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Today, you held tree pose, foot firmly against your lower calf and toes NOT touching the floor, for a whopping five seconds.

This is a victory. The only downside was you were practicing in your living room with the DownDog yoga app, and there was no one present to see it.

There might be those who can’t understand the achievement in being able to balance on one foot for such a short time. For you, who sprained each of their ankles at least four times playing collegiate rugby, followed by multiple other twists and injuries to those delicate joints over the next couple of decades due to high heels, icy sidewalks, cracks in the pavement, and mere crickets crossing your path, it is the holy grail.

In medical parlance, you have chronic ankle instability. In everyday language, you are a klutz. When one injuries their ankle enough times, the ligaments in the ankle get all stretched out. That, and small nerve cells in that joint called proprioceptors get damaged. Those little buggers are really quite important; they help the brain know where the body is in space, without using visual cues. This explains why you seem to trip over EVERYTHING, including the aforementioned crickets. Your brain simply doesn’t know where your feet are at any given moment.

Even though you found your roots this morning with Down Dog (which you love for at-home asanas), you know you couldn’t have gotten there without regularly attending the yoga classes at BrickBodies at the Rotunda. The ever-patient, ever-encouraging instructors there have watched you wobble for six months, gently providing ways to modify balance poses and reminding you it’s about your practice, your achievements. The only measure being how good a pose was for you today.

Thanks to Brick Bodies, along with going Paleo / Whole 30, you have lost 50 pounds in the past half-year. You have the courage to try new classes, like the outdoor one from YogaWorks last week at the AVAM. Perhaps you will lose more weight. Perhaps, some day, you will get into Warrior III or Lord of the Dance without using the wall for support. Perhaps tomorrow you will again topple over during tree pose. But today you did it, and for that you are grateful.

 

Brick Bodies Rotunda, 727 W 40th St, Baltimore, MD 21211, (443) 388-8511

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