I began the practice of hot yoga six months prior to my mom's lung cancer diagnosis. It may sound odd to some, but I did this at the instruction of Angel Healing cards my aunt sent me which kept suggesting I do more yoga and meditation. The deck of cards has over 60 cards and no matter how many times I shuffled them, the same two cards appeared about yoga and meditation. In hindsight, I can clearly see that I was being guided to a practice that would help we weather some of life's roughest seas.
I remember sitting bedside to my mother in the emergency room after she was rushed to the hospital post chemotherapy for her cancer. She developed a rare condition called Rhabdomyolysis which is a breakdown of muscle tissue releasing damaging protein in the blood. She could barely speak and I could see the fear and confusion in her eyes. My mother is a very strong woman and seeing this in her brought me to my knees.
If it wasn’t for the yoga, I think I might just collapse right now. My core was already strengthened from daily participation in my recovery program and now, the yoga strengthened me further. Some might look at hot yoga merely as a form of great exercise. For me, it is a teacher given to me at exactly the right time to teach me how to suit up and show up when I would normally collapse and fall down. The messages of yoga, spoken by my teacher in class, are always exactly what I need to hear and remember.
Matt says, “In between your poses, relax. Let everything go. Be completely still. Let the energy of the pose revitalize you.” He constantly reminds me to breathe through my nose to slow down the heart and return to calm. When I begin to project into the future and worry about my mom and how her lung disease and cancer might progress, hot yoga offers me a way to return to the moment, rely on the conscious flow of energy and trust.
I feel relieved of the burden of thinking I need to control anything. I am restored to sanity. I do my third step everytime I enter class and offer my whole being to the G-d of my understanding to guide, heal and restore me. I begin every class with an intention. Lately, that intention is to heal and align myself for maximum positive energy to flow through me to optimize my well-being and the well-being of those I love. I may not be able to cure my mother’s condition but with hot yoga, I learn how rely on my inner power to be of maximum service to her in her time of need.