Last year, around this time, I was hit and dragged by a taxi in New York City a couple of blocks, and spent most of 2011 in hospitals and recovering. At the time, I felt the right side of my body–from hip to through back, should neck, face–twist and collapse, compress and tense and spasm.
I used to do vinyasa and more athletic styles of yoga, but only recently have I begun to move from physical therapy to viniyoga, as I recover. Slowly, I begin to feel parts of my body wake, begin to move into alignment, begin to balance and heal.
Today’s class made me think about my neck, about the release of pressure when lowering chin and realizing the release along that line of taxi hit-and-drag injury…how any anxiety or fear now seems directed along that line, the most recent and severe example in my life of fear and anxiety…how, in yoga class today, when feeling a very toxic and dangerous energy rise up within the man practicing to the right beside me…being present next to that, his heavy pulling energy, pulling me, pulling my spirit, to align with his destruction…feeling the right side of my body begin to turn inward, twisting along that line, recoiling from the dangerous energy in instinct, to protect…my whole being very aware of the twisting and pain along that side of injury…how for so long this is why I resisted practicing yoga in class setting even though I knew I needed to learn more: the danger of toxic energies, the necessity to protect and defend myself from that.
Thoughts moving to where that tension first became present in my life, when young and a girl becoming a woman, unused to the new watching and desiring eyes of men…the fear of being seen…because when I am seen people have always had very strong reactions to me and the energy of others is often very strong and toxic…how part of my nature is to feel, intensely, to retain constant presence and access to close connection to feeling and sensing…to care for others, to love, to discern, to create….
But then what to do with the press of this feeling of the weight of others…when benign or helpful I am alright but toxic energy is more damaging for me than most…meditating on how you don’t have to hold this energy from others, how to create a shield from toxic energy…the necessity to protect and defend yourself…where this need comes from…but what to do when you can’t?
How do you protect and defend yourself?