September 3


Entering The ‘No Yoga’ Season

By Odyssa

September 3, 2021

For the first time since 2018, I'm skipping yoga practice because I'm not able to physically.

Last month, I thought I had cancer.

During an exam, my doctor found a mass in my body that needed to be removed ASAP. With numerous tests and consultations, I got admitted to a hospital for the first time and went through an operation. I stayed in the hospital for 4 days.

I was preparing for the worst. Everyone in my family was gravely affected. They were scared for me and I was scared for them. 

Today, I can proudly say I have no cancer in my body and it should stay that way. The incision on my stomach is now healing. 

It's been a few weeks since the operation and my movements are pretty limited. I'm not allowed to practice yoga or do any exercise at this time. 

Here's a post-yoga class photo taken by my friend Michael after attending a Flow Class in Yoga 108 Bali. It was early morning and the sun was making its way to every photo from that angle. 

Do I miss yoga?

Not as much as I expected. I know what my body needs and right now and it's telling me to rest.

Sometimes, I struggle with this temporary freedom. 

I'm not allowed to work, even if I work from home. I'm not allowed to lift heavy objects, and that includes my body weight. 

Sneezing and coughing feel like getting punched in the gut. I can't walk for too long because my lower abdomen - where the incision is - orders me to sit or lie down. 

I miss the daily silent, reflective time on the mat. I miss listening to my breath. I miss the experience of doing something challenging, doing your best, and resting. 

While talking to my doctors and waiting for test results, I had the chance to practice the real meaning of yoga: to be still, breathe through difficulty and its opposite, and accept things as they are. To allow things to unfold in the right course. 

A gumamela flower in Bali. Photo by the author.

I can't forget what our teacher, Mozart Reina said during one of his workshops:

Do your best. That is your duty. But accept that there is no control. What will happen will happen.

Accept that things don't and won't always go our way. Accept that things can and will go wrong. That our expectations won't be met. That nothing ever comes easy. 

Waking up to a painful abdomen isn't fun, but I'm taking my sweet time to heal. 

At the proper time, I'll pull my mat out of the closet, clean it, unroll it, and say my first 'om'. 

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About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

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