I have been waking up early. My knee has been really bothering me. It's time to wear a knee brace, get an X-ray and take my "limbs" more seriously. One of the foundations of yoga are the "Eight Limbs of Yoga" and I always give a mini talk on one of these aspects in my classes.
Self-care is related to ahimsa and asteya, non-violence and non-stealing. I think of ahimsa as compassion and asteya as returning. Yoga is first and foremost about our relationship with the Divine, then with ourselves and then with others. When we are on the mat, it is really helpful to extend compassion to yourself and to return energy to yourself, to really take the time to be present to the needs of your body and to give energy back to it that might have been taken from the computer, pushy traffic, stressed exchanges, etc.
While I was on the elliptical machine this morning, I found myself thinking about how I really wanted to get "hot" and was really looking forward to it. But then I thought about how I actually feel and how my knee is so stiff and so often sore and achy. I know that I have these issues because of my weight gain and I know that I have been putting strain on my joints for a long, long time, even when I was "lighter" and more confident. I have always had issues with my flat feet, my ankles, my calves, my lower back and most recently my knees and shoulder cap. I am looking ahead into my 50s and 60s and am wondering what I need to do, where I need to be in order to be more comfortable and healthy in my body. In this, I am really that what I need is a mindset for rehabilitation and healing than ego-stroking.
So, my workout changed. I am motivated by the need to feel better, to "literally" take steps out of my pain...I do cardio to lubricate my joints, to bring oxygen flow to my body, to rehabilitate, to heal, to forgive myself...to give love to myself.