I’m sitting at the original muscle beach in Santa Monica by the pier. In the middle of the swinging rings, balance beams, ropes and slack lines, there is a large patch of astroturf dedicated to yoga. At times there can be 50 or more people crowding the space- all wanting to practice, learn or support anyone who enters the inner-sanctum. Today, moving seems like an impossible task.
The sun has just set over Malibu, but there’s still a hustle and bustle of people exercising. There’s a photographer shooting the talented yogis. One guy does a full split, while his partner grabs his shoulders, lifts his feet over his head and balances upside down on the other guy’s shoulders. That’s some Cirque du Soleil stuff right there.
It’s called acro yoga and I aspire to do that. But being upside down is a challenge for many reasons- most importantly because of my head. I feel like I would need to wear a helmet. I’ve been practicing yoga for years and I’m lucky to be pretty flexible even if I go on hiatus for months at a time. Full wheel, splits, bird of paradise, they are all in my practice. I love the vibe, the camaraderie, the calm that washes over once I start to practice.
Today I sit on the sidelines, trying to manage this growing migraine. I count it as a miracle that I walked the mile down to the pier to watch this advanced group of yoga-letes. I had hoped to grab a small piece of fake grass to stretch a little, but I can’t even make myself do that. Besides the fact that all my power is drained from the walk, I wouldn’t have the strength to interact with all of the wonderfully nice people. It all seems too exhausting right now. So in my own way, I deeply breathe in the salt air and relax my tense shoulders. It’s a start.
I’ve been fighting this migraine companion for weeks. While it’s painful to get out of bed and take a twilight stroll, I know that moving as soon as I can, the quicker this will pass. I’ve had to get over my own stubbornness to learn this. Sometimes it is easier said than done.
I’m not talking about jumping out of bed and running a marathon- that will never happy in my life. Never. Even just gentle movement helps. Stretch in bed. Uncoil my body from the wretched twist I’ve crumbled into for the past 2 days. Walk to the mailbox. Take some deep breaths. Maybe then venture out to find my inner strength and kick this migraine out of my body. Simple yoga poses allow me to feel in control of my body for the first time in weeks.
I could get hit with another one tomorrow and the process would start all over again. Such is my life.