June was a rather uneven month for my yoga practice. While treatment had gradually improved the issues arising from my iliopsoas to the point that I could resume taking class, other problems intervened to keep me from getting back to a regular practice at Thrive Yoga.
Vacation on Cape Cod
For one thing, I took a week off (June 16-23) with my wife for a vacation on Cape Cod. We went up via Amtrak and rented a car to get out to Provincetown (or “P-town,” as they like to call in Massachusetts), which must be a full two-hours from Boston or Providence, so it’s not an easy reach. We probably could have gotten along fine without a car once we were at our resort because P-town and neighboring boroughs have regular free buses running the main roads, including the beaches. But having a car was necessary to get to Plymouth (for the Plimouth Plantation and museum about the Pilgrims) and New Bedford for the National Whaling Museum. We went to those site on Monday and Tuesday when the weather was too chilly for extended time on the beach. The weather heated up for the rest of the week, but the temperatures on the Cape were still 10 degrees below the heat in the rest of New England.
A heated practice
Speaking of heat, this weekend in the DC area has been extreme: the “derecho” storm that flew through here on Friday evening has created havoc. Power has been knocked out in most of my area of Montgomery County (but by some miracle we have been without electricity for 90 minutes at most!), and most businesses, including yoga studios, have shut down. Considering that the Washington, DC area has been through multiple weather events that devastated infrastructure (snow and ice storms, hurricanes, earth tremors), inhabitants have absorbed lots of disruptions in public services. It’s especially bad that the power outage come at a time when air conditioning is vital to getting through the heat. It may be a full week before most people get power back.
I was able to make it to five class at Thrive Yoga in June, far less than I expected to attend. That did not mean that I stopped doing yoga. Practically every evening, I went through my sequence of yoga poses and restorative routines that seem to help me control the discomfort caused by my peripheral neuropathy. I took my travel mat, strap and roller with me on vacation, and I needed them after spending time behind the wheel. The stress tended to accumulate between my shoulder blades, knot up my neck and tighten my lower spine. I don’t think I would get to sleep at a reasonable time without my practice.
But the shortcoming of my practice has been that I have not done a strong vinyasa practice and I can tell that I don’t have the strength and stamina that comes from a more dynamic, upbeat, balanced practice that I usually get in class. I could feel guilty about being a slacker, but I want to approach my practice on an even keel, not leaning to the physical side with an alpha-type intensity or endowing it with a kind of magical power to change to transform my mind, body and spirit (but isn’t that why I’ve been going yoga for the past eight years???).