Heart Whispers – Part 1, Myocardial-Infarctionasana

 

On the evening of May 14, 2007 I was teaching my Monday Level 1-2 Yoga Class in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. One of 15-ish I would regularly teach in a week.

I was demonstrating to my students a high lunge with the use of a block under the thigh of the back leg, allowing the block to take the weight of the leg. Once balanced, I asked my students to lift their arms up above their shoulders, close their eyes and sink deeper into the lunge. I raised my arms with my students and while their eyes were closed I felt my arms go heavy.

Heavy like no heaviness I had felt before.

Heavy and weak like I had just practiced 1,000 chaturangas.

My arms were killing me! I did not know what was going on. I could barely breathe, nausea overwhelmed me and I asked them to bring their arms down and remove the block -barely skipping a beat.   20130120-215337.jpg

This was the second side. Phewf!

With their eyes still closed I invited them to step forward into Tadasana and keeping their eyes closed, move through 5 rounds of their own variations of Sun Salutation. This happened while I writhed (wrothe?) around on the floor with intense pain in my arms, gripping in the back of my neck and tightness in my whole torso, feeling like I might die.

{I wondered how long could I keep them with their eyes closed…?}

They finished off their Sun Salutations and I gave them permission to open their eyes, tune in to take notice of how they felt after eyes closed practice. I had been teaching this for quite a while before this class and my students were very receptive to it.

It is a delightful way to practice pratyahara, draw inward and really FEEL the practice.

I asked them to partner-up and come to the wall to practice half handstand, which we also been practicing over a number of weeks, so they knew the drill. I was still laying on the floor in a partial fetal position, teaching/instructing with my voice, thankful that no one had noticed that anything different was going on in class. I was also very thankful to feel as if I could breathe a little bit.
I know, we talk about the importance of breath in yoga all the time, but this, was a little different…

Stay tuned for Part 2…