The Plow

screen shot 2019-01-19 at 5.29.09 pm
“The Plowman” (Winslow Homer)

The thing about Griselda is she works when I do. If I’m off, she goes…elsewhere; but she’s always back when I’m at my desk, or making notes on paper assuming I’ll be able to read them later…which I won’t because…well, I’ll save that  for another time.

***

I’ve been practicing Hatha Yoga for decades. Four to five mornings a week, once my breakfast has settled, I do a fifteen minute flow to keep my frame limber and strong, and my nerves soothed.

Almost two weeks ago, as I was coming out of the Plow pose, I felt something in my back move in a direction it was never meant to go.

***

You read a lot when you have to spend 10 out of every 90 minutes with an ice pack, first on the side of the initial injury, then on the side that wrenched in response. And days later, when you switch from ice to heat, you reach for a book because you get sick of watching movies and binging on TV series.

I actually did manage to get some writing done when I was finally able to sit at my desk for more than 20 minutes without pain, but mostly I read.

And I came away from those books, all fiction, all of which had garnered enthusiastic praise by reviewers, wondering what I was missing, and whether there was still a place for my voice (such as it is) among all that is recognized as worthy these days. Yes, I know, it could have been the muscle spasms talking, but knowing that didn’t help. It put me in a funk. So, I looked for Griselda, and found her on a velvet swooning couch watching a badly degraded copy of The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.

In spite of the funk, I watched it with her, and, for some odd reason, felt better afterward.

***

It’s almost 5:30 here, and according to my Fit Bit, I’ve logged 3,000 steps doing laps around the kitchen and dining room. I was also on my feet for over an hour this afternoon peeling and slicing apples for a large pan of crisp (now baked and making the kitchen smell heavenly), and I’m still able to sit at my desk without pain.

Ptui, ptui, ptui.

But, I’ve decided to eliminate the Plow, and it’s demonic sibling, the Supported Shoulder Stand, from my flow, when I’m ready to go back to it. There are enough planks and other neutral spine poses to keep me flexible and toned. I think my back will appreciate that. I know Griselda will.

She is fond of plows, but prefers those that turn the earth, ready the soil for seeds of all varieties. For her, it’s all about what takes root, what grows, and what thrives. She’s funny that way.

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6 thoughts on “The Plow

  1. Goodness, the pain, glad to hear you’re recovering. Your Hatha Yoga schedule is impressive, though your body seems to ask for more gentle approaches towards staying tuned. These Griseldas have their use, but they do need little surreal diversions and idiot relief from time to time, which aids relaxation.
    I’ve become lazy, doing stretching moves while preparing my morning coffee. Occasionally, when my neurons fire too rapidly and muscles tense, I do a breathing sequence, evoking the elements and their colours. Come to think of it, I may do a post on that sequence some time soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right about needing gentler approaches. I love Yoga, the way it makes me feel, but I realize now there are certain poses I should not be doing, so, I have to respect that. As for Griselda, I respect her need for diversions from time to time, and indulge her with some admittedly guilty pleasures, such as cheesy science fiction films.
      I’ll look forward to your post on your own stretching and breathing routine. I often practice deep breathing without the poses, as they are effective at clearing the mental debris that keeps me from focusing. I love the idea of using color and the elements. Yes! More please!

      Liked by 1 person

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