I've had this upper respiratory thing going on for the past four weeks. Four long weeks. In that time, I've had to cancel a number of yoga classes and commitments, had to tell clients I would have to put off making their custom DVDs, and I basically stayed in bed. Cabin fever central! I mean, there are only so many books to be read, and movies to be watched before you start to feel like you're going a little crazy. However, any kind of movement (I mean, even getting up and walking from my bed to my kitchen) would ignite a coughing fit that felt like I might break a rib, so in my bed I will stay.
In any event, I dare say I miiiight be getting better, and so while I'm on the homestretch of this thing, I'd like to share the number one thing I've learned about being sick for a month: isvara-pranidhana.
It's the fifth niyama (moral duty) outlined in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, and basically it just means to surrender.
Well this is sort of a problem because by nature, I think it's ingrained in our culture to never surrender. We always want to go hard, fight, battle, never give up- and to do anything but would be to claim defeat, and I think that's why, when I was reading about it, I was initially turned off by the idea of surrendering.
But, as it turns out, four weeks of laying around lends itself to a lot of thinking. And I realized that instead of thinking of surrendering as defeat, I could think about it in terms of acceptance of what is. I could surrender my plans and expectations and my daily routine and all the things I try to do to control my life. I could let it all go, experiencing the illness as a lesson in isvara-pranidhana, and hold those lessons with me for the future.
That being said, I am really looking forward to feeling 100%. :)