The yoga instructor is patient and compassionate. While inviting us to push, she also reminded us to be careful. For each stretch, there were areas we should watch. As the class progress I realized I was tuning her out. My focus was on reaching the goal.
The sharp jab in my left hand jerked me from complacency. My initial reaction was annoyance. I shook my hand, relaxed myself, and went straight back towards the pose. The second jab was significantly more intense. Whatever was going on was not good! My obsession with achieving what I set out to do blinded me from pausing long. Before I knew it I was trying and failing to reach the position. I was also dripping in sweat. The room was cool but I was anything but.
I wanted to be doing. I wanted to stretch my body, slowly work it back into shape. As the pain began to overwhelm me, I look down at my wrist and realized that there was a bulging bump that was increasingly tender. Even as I took things back a notch, the pain and size of the swelling continued to grow. Whatever I thought I was going to do in this session was, at best, a fading dream.
By the end of the class I was a mess. My wrist had a big bump where it was not supposed to have one. My shirt was dripping wet. The pain had got to the point that it was overwhelming. In my heart I knew I had made it worse. At the moment I wanted to blame everyone else. “A hostile world! I call to God, I cry to God to help me. From his palace he hears my call; my cry brings me right into his presence – a private audience!” (Psalm 18.6)
The instructor invited us to slow down our breathing and move into a quiet space. Even as I did, I could sense a Presence reminding me that resting and being were forms of healing. It was the answer my body was begging for.