Posted by: eveyoga | March 23, 2010

Never Been Here Before

Water Lily Bud

If you think about it philosophically, each moment presents us with a possible “never-been-here-before” view. This, of course, is the basis of meditation.

However, in our human condition, we don’t often have the experience of life being new, fresh. And, when we do have that experience, because it is unusual, it can be disconcerting.

This morning as I entered the yoga shed to practice, I realised I had no idea what to do. Last Thursday, after having put myself in a small box with nothing but physio exercises to do for 6 weeks, my surgeon gave me the all-clear. Go on, throw away the compression stockings, sleep on your side, cycle, swim…and do yoga.

It’s fascinating to me that in 45 days or so I’d managed to create new neuronal pathways that completely inhibited certain movements. While I was terribly uncomfortable sleeping on my back for weeks, I felt safer that way, so I had to will myself to change this pattern over a several nights. I had stuck firmly to the advice of the surgeon to not flex my hips more than 90 degrees, all the while experiencing something like uttanasana-envy watching Heather curve over. Even now, days after the ban has been lifted, forward stretching poses seem somewhat inimical to my formerly bendy body.

So what did I do this morning? Pranayama to start, which has been an auspicious addition to my practice since the hip surgery, and a practice with no bars 🙂

Then, I got down to floor work. Such an easy thing to say, but I hadn’t been Down There for 7 weeks and my trajectory from vertical to horizontal was anything but seamless. I re-discovered some great old friends: supta padangusthasana 1 & 2, setu bandhasana (vinyasana variation), salabhasana….

The best thing about this morning is that I’ve never done a practice like the one I did. I had to be inventive, watchful and completely present. I have a strong feeling that tomorrow I will have never been there before too.



  1. Those pesky neural pathways, they build up the new roads so fast and also they decide that this route is not used much, might as well close it down, and then they do it very quickly.
    Happy tarvelling, finding your body a new and building new roads.
    Great and easy book to read in this subject is Norman Doidge, The brain that changes itself xxx

  2. Hi Maarit,
    I loved “The Brain That Changes Itself”. What’s fascinating is that because the brain is so flexible, one can take on bad habits (otherwise known as addictions!), as well as good habits.
    Thanks for all your good wishes! Love, Eve

  3. I should have known that you had already read it.
    Love Maarit

  4. Although nothing like the hard road you’ve been down, I found the same thing with the changes that pregnancy brings to a yoga body. There are certain moves that just become impossible… and lo! There goes the hamstring flexibility! And even though my youngest is now nearly three, I still cannot practice without another little body making its presence felt on mine. I’m afraid savasana is just an invitation to jump on Mummy!

    • Pregnancy might not be as hard as the body changes I’ve gone through, but the post-partum lack of sleep might be 🙂

      XO Eve

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