Since Saturday, I've been dealing with a terrible cold which quickly became my Achilles heel - bronchitis. Nearly every single cold I've ever had moves into my chest, causing me tremendous discomfort.
When this happens, I quickly FEAR my body. I get ANGRY with my body. "Again?!" and the feeling of betrayal only seems to exaggerate the symptoms, sometimes lingering for weeks.
But in the wee hours of 3:30am last night after coughing fit number who-is-even-counting-at-this-point, I thought of my yoga classes, how at the end I do a body scan to help ease into rest.
So I did one for myself. I mentally moved into my chest, tried to get a sense for what it must feel like for sore airways to be hurting AND to have my mind yelling at them to "work better."
I placed a hand lightly on my chest and just listened to me breathe with deep effort, wanting to really hear what my body was telling me.
And that inexplicable knowing only the body has, spoke: I am trying to keep you healthy. These lungs push your voice, protect your heart - they are strong and take the brunt because they can handle it.
And instantly, the urge to cough diminished...I felt ease, a trust, and finally, fell into a deep sleep.
As a teacher of yoga and body acceptance, I often answer people's questions "so why do you do this?" with "because I need it for myself."