Martin Luther King Jr. once said” “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward”.
My practice of yoga started a few years ago, a leisure activity as a start but with more intention when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Why? I believe I was looking for peace within myself. Something that would belong only to me. Something I would have some control over. Something that would bring my heart to a lower rate, so I could finally breath … Being diagnosed with cancer turn your life upside down. In just a few minutes, my whole life changed and i hit a rock bottom. I needed to breath.
On a more general note, I have always exercised. Exercising always appeases me and since my diagnosis, it always helped me to deal with recovery and side effects, but also to prepare myself to tackle the next surgery or treatment in the best way. Stronger my body and mind are, easier the medical step will be to handle. And yoga has been a key part of it. It allows me to slow down, to focus on myself, on how my body moves with my breath, helps to build my stamina (physical and mental) and to let my thoughts flow and go… at least for a little while.
During my medical treatments, I realised that the more someone listen to self, deeper the grave is. The least we do, the more tired we are. If I were to listen to the trouble chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries, hormonal treatment, targeted therapy etc... create, I would have kept lying on my sofa for days. Ah, vicious circle, when you have a hold on us ! What is the most difficult though, the most tiring, which requires the most effort and to put ourselves out there is to take that first step to finally trigger a virtuous circle. And, this is applicable to everything in life, to all situation.
The importance of not letting oneself drifting away can sometimes be complicated to be seen and to be understood: this is well known, we stay well too often in our small snug nest, sinking in our heritage, cradling in our habits.
Why? This is easy. This is enjoyable. This is sweet. This is familiar. But, this is even better when we go out of our comfort zone.
Yoga, and more precisely for the past year my practice of ashtanga, has been all about that. My frame to support the creation of that positive attitude. The discovery of an enriching new horizon, where progress continues to be made through effort and work, but also with regularity, focus and openness, where resilience is witnessed with acceptance of the up-and-downs and letting go of what we can’t control, where energy and fire are created along the way and give more strength for the next asana. And, all of that, is wrapped with deep breathing, the kind of breathing which brings you to another state of mind, the one that you want as a companion for the rest of the day and the rest of your life.
I deeply feel my practice of yoga is part of my healing journey and my willingness to grow, to evolve. With practice, as we improve our self-awereness and are more alert with the ‘now', it is easier to find a path when tension arises or when an obstacle has to be overcome.
As I navigated different stages of cancer, people ask me how i stay positive and motivated, I don’t… but I stay consistent.
When things get tough, I continue to breath and I try to keep going. Because I believe to learn through each phase, but also to be able to find more lightness and stillness with time, with acceptance and with practice.
This a beautiful reminder that i embrace through my yoga practice as I believe we, one day, get the things we work for.