A couple of days ago I glanced down, looking at my feet. And it was like I was gazing down at a stranger's. They looked... grown up. Strong. Beautiful. ...And yet, so alien.
I have arches.
Throughout my entire life, I have had the flattest feet of anyone I have ever known. And now, after completing five weeks of nearly daily physical yoga practice, my feet are strong! It's incredible how quickly the body adapts to the changing physical demands we ask it to accept and work through.
I used to think that running strengthened my core quite a bit - breathing is hard work when you are running 20 miles over the course of three and a half hours. Certainly it takes some strength to accomplish this task! Yet, now, not only is my core tremendously stronger, and I feel shy saying this, ...I actually have some definition in my abs...!
Part of the changes I am noticing is due to the fact that I did a cleanse (no sugar/starch) for nearly one month. AMAZING transformations happen when you eliminate sugar and anything with more than 5 ingredients or containing any preservatives or unpronounceable compounds. I have never felt so good.
But. (Did you know that was coming?) Everything is not all hunky-dory. Nope.
About two weeks ago, my thighs started going numb.
Weird, right? The tops of my thighs, and the skin covering them, all going numb. This is something I have noticed for years if I found myself laying on my back when waking up in the morning. I would just roll to my side and all would be well, feeling returning to my upper legs.
Now, I found myself in a lunge pose in a yoga class - and the top of my back leg went numb.
A couple of days later, at a standing meeting around a desk at work, both legs went numb on the thigh. And over the past week, it has become a daily occurrence of sleeping/waking legs. So frustrating. I finally went for some body work - and apparently I had some tight muscles, and even after releasing the fascia from the muscle tissue and detaching things that had adhered together and become stuck, I am still experiencing the same darn numbness. At this point, I am pretty sure the cause is a ligament in my hip crease area stretching over a nerve and cutting off feeling. Now, I simply need to locate the point and figure out how to bring more flexibility and release the tension on this ligament so it stops pressing on the nerve...
I knew this yoga journey would teach me new things about myself, stamina, strength, and health of the mind, body, and soul. I did not think I would be given incentive to learn about nerve paths in the body. A somewhat uncomfortable, and totally interesting experience. (My legs are feeling numb less often, now; I am paying close attention to any changes, please do not worry about me!)
This journey is helping me to look at my life - practices, choices, ways of living and consuming in this world - and make conscious decisions about how I choose to live. I had no idea that my mind would be challenged to change. Nor did I know that my body would change so much - my feet starting to look like a yogi's.
This will be an interesting journey, indeed.
Have you ever started a new activity to be faced with unforeseen challenges? Was it something totally off your radar? How did you approach that roadblock?
I would love to hear your story!
as always, with joy, ~Alaina