Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 1890: On yoga

My friend Jess is currently down south (that's what we Californians call southern California) undergoing bikram yoga teacher training. I read this post of hers and was really moved (that sounds way cheesier than I mean for it to) by this phrase:

"Life does not give you ideal conditions.
You have to find the peace regardless."

I feel like I don't talk about peace enough. I mean first of all, the six of you reading this are either family or close friends so I rarely find the need to explain myself/talk about feelings. Secondly, I hate feelings. So, that pretty much covers why I rarely talk about anything remotely personal (that doesn't have to do with me crying in a ball in the corner of my bed after another painful exam week). However, I really wanted to post on this because I feel like that statement has never rung more true for me. (Could I be any more touchy feely?)

My recent decision to try to do more yoga (until about 2-3 weeks ago, the amount of yoga I had done was a big fat donut (ZERO)) has really helped...what's the word I'm looking Calm? Soothe? Assuage? ..."something" me. Here's a better way to describe it.

Photo courtesy of a Google search (Warrior Two).

While doing yoga in my room two weeks ago, I was in Warrior Two, staring beyond my middle finger, focusing on my breathing, maintaining my balance, maintaining my arms and legs, when physiology entered my mind. This previous block was about the respiratory system (breathing, lungs, etc) and as I was focusing on my breathing (in. out.), I couldn't help but start thinking about breathing. Ventilation and perfusion ratios. Oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curves. Other boring science stuff. And at some point, it just went away. I can't remember if I willed it away or if it just faded away, but at some point, I was able (for at least five minutes) to just breathe.

And it was a glorious moment of respiration. After that day's practice (oh my gosh, shut up Jessica. You're not a yogi, you just do yoga), I felt really rejuvenated. If I had to put it into words, I would have to say that, finding my way back to yoga has in a very strange way helped me find a way back to believing in myself. I guarantee that a large part of my success this last block was because I reverted to my old "fake it 'til you make it" ways. This entire time I kept saying I was great, when I didn't fully believe it, and I suppose (again, in some very strange way) yoga helped me remember that I am actually great. (Tone down the modesty there Jess)

Okay okay, enough storytelling. The point of this entire post was that Jess' statement of life being un-ideal and having to find peace in the middle of chaos is an absolutely perfect description of where I am right now. My life as a first year medical student has really pushed me in ways I didn't think I could be pushed. I haven't felt this doubtful of myself in many moons so to be here again is...confounding. Uncomfortable. And very much unwanted. However, the silver lining of all of this is that, finally, in block 7 (out of 8 for the academic year), I found a way to be confident again.


Jess G said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It means a lot to me that my post apparently helped you. :) And here I am just selfishly trying to process this training!

YAAAAAAY for doing yoga! Yoga makes everything better!

Also, we've started our two week block of anatomy/physiology (I know that's like nothing to you), but I'm really enjoying it. The human body is SO FUCKING COOL! :D I'd love to talk it over with you, the resident expert, sometime.

Lots of love, m'dear!

Jess said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Jess G

The body is a pretty amazing specimen isn't it?

I would love to chat about it some time! The body is complicated, but in the best way possible -- as only our bodies can be! :) Perhaps a gchat or video chat or actual phone conversation some time next week? Let me know!