What does your body tell you?

I am currently having an intense debate with my self. It goes something like this: I want to feel strong and in shape. I am afraid
of becoming fat and old and weak. I had back surgery two years ago; it’s called a foramenotemy, and it involved going in an scraping between vertebrae to make more room for the arthritis that had set in. It was pinching a nerve and made me lose power in my left leg.

Movement is essential to me. Anyone who knows me, know this one fact about me…I must move. So to be incapacitated for any amount of time is excruciating. ¬†Anything I do that I used to do to stay in shape hurts me: skiing, cycling, Insanity, aerobics, running. I still do some of these activities, but most of the time I regret it afterwards. My back and my leg hurt from the spinal issues I have.

The only thing I can do right now without feeling pain is yoga. While I feel strong doing it, I am paranoid that I won’t get strong and feel skinny for the long term.

Here’s the thing: I have been very consistent with my yoga practice for the last six months. Today my husband told me I look good. He said he thinks I look as good as I did when I was killing myself on my bike. Weird, right? How can a practice of joy and opening create strength that others notice?

A year ago my physical therapist told me: You HAVE to start listening to your body. STOP trying to push through the pain. For you, pain is not a good thing.

I struggled for a long time as an athlete with this. As a youngster, I was taught to push through the pain. That pain will only make me stronger. But really, I’m not so sure any more. This view is making me see the world in a different way. It is making me see my classroom in a new way.

If I feel pain in my classroom, something is wrong. It is at this point I need to reflect and diagnose. It is when the pain starts, when there is just a nag that something is off that we teachers need to stop and figure out what is amiss.

My prescription for you? You HAVE to start listening to your students. STOP trying to push through the pain. For you, pain is not a good thing.

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