Taking a Well Deserved Break…Or Trying To!

There was a pervasive scent of lavender wafting through the room.  I realized it was coming from the “eye pillows” we had been given to rest our eyes.  There were about ten of us stretched out on our individual mats, but since the room was dimly lit when I entered I could not see anyone’s face. Suddenly there was the gentle “ping” of a tiny bell that signaled we were about to begin our session of “restorative yoga,” a first for me.

I was very excited about participating in this class.  I have been overly busy (of my own doing) since my recent recovery (remission) from cancer.  Probably like most cancer survivors, I am eager to get on with my life and cram as much enjoyment into it as possible.  However…I am still learning my limits.  There are days when I just collapse into my new recliner at about 5 or 5:30 pm. and become catatonic for the next hour or so. Only then do I realize how exhausted I am!  I haven’t yet learned to pace myself, but I have been learning that I do need to allow myself to rest periodically.

My hope was that I would learn some tricks in this workshop that would help me to relax in ways other than what I am used to. And that did happen. The nearly two hours of the workshop were divided into short sessions of all of us assuming different positions on our mats, cushioned by very comfortable bolsters that we placed in various strategic positions for support.  This was not the usual yoga experience.  Instead, we were encouraged to relax into the position and hold it for 10 to l5 minutes at a time.

This sounds ideal except for the fact that the real world kept intruding on my bliss.  First, the woman next to me kept shifting her position, then breathing heavily when she finally got comfortable.  The two instructors kept moving around the room or going up and down the basement stairs causing another distraction.  Then just when I thought things had finally settled down, the basement heating unit went on sounding like a jet aircraft had arrived in the room!  I concentrated on my breathing and how I had looked forward to this experience, but it wasn’t really working.  The final straw was the nearby cellphone (that belonged to my noisy neighbor, I think) that kept pinging throughout the relaxation session. I never entered that deep zone of relaxation I was hoping for.

All was not lost, however.  I did get a short foot massage from the reflexologist at the end of the session which made my feet feel wonderful.  I have been left with some neuropathy in both feet as a result of chemo, so it was wonderful to know that I still had some sensation left in both feet.  In fact, my feet felt wonderful this morning when I got up and started moving around. I’ll have to do more of that.

I don’t think I’ll ever repeat that experience, or at least not in that particular setting.  But I did learn a few new tricks I can practice myself at home.  And now I need to purchase one of those cushy bolsters for my aching body.  

Amazon.com……..here I come!

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11 thoughts on “Taking a Well Deserved Break…Or Trying To!”

  1. Reflexology must have felt wonderful. I’m glad it helped your neuropathy. Too bad you had to have it next to a heavy breather!

    I recently watched a restorative pilates class on Pilates Anytime. That might be something you’d like to check out (I’m sure there’s more than one on the site!) since you can do that from the comfort of your own home.

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  2. As a long-time yoga participant, I would encourage you to try another studio or location as every yoga class has its own style. Each teacher is unique and you need to keep looking to find the one that fits your sense of being. Yoga in itself is restorative, so the class doesn’t need to be listed like that- there are so many different names. I wish you well on your journey of recovery and I know yoga can help you! It has helped so many of my cancer-surviving friends!

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  3. The beginning had such promise of calm, but then the intrusions of your peace began, too bad. 😦 At least all was not lost since you enjoyed the foot massage and learned a few tricks to do at home.

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  4. I am not a fan of yoga but I do it because I know it is good for me. I can’t imagine a 2 hour session with all that craziness but, hey, you did it and did get something out of it!

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  5. Hello my friend! Great to hear your voice and sorry we missed our chance to have lunch before the restorative yoga session on Sunday. I recently read this hysterically funny piece about hot yoga and your post reminded me of it:
    http://paul.tickld.com/x/guy-posts-a-craigslist-ad

    I applaud you for taking chances and trying all new things. While this experience was not as “restorative” as it could have been, it made for a great slice! 🙂

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    1. Hello! Did I completely zone out and forget to meet you for lunch? I’m afraid I did and I feel really terrible about it. Things do slip my mind occasionally since you know what. I am so sorry. I will definitely see you this Saturday and I’m really looking forward to it. Barbara

      Sent from my iPad

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    2. HI Kathleen!
      Did I completely “zone out” on meeting you Sunday? It completely slipped my mind. I feel terrible about it and hope you’ll forgive me. My memory isn’t always what it should be since you know what. I very much look forward to seeing you on Sat. at the LIWP group.
      Barbara

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    3. Hi Kathleen, I think I already responded to your post. But I do want to add that I read the Craigslist piece about the hot yoga class and nearly died laughing. It was amazing! Thanks for the tip!

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