Isvara Pranidhana: ‘surrendering to a higher power’ or simply letting go of our expectations.
A biggie for me this one as it is very weirdly timed with the universe’s plans for me right now.
I found out last Tuesday I have Deep Vein Thrombosis in my arm – doctor told me, no cardio, no weight lifting, no yoga and above all no arm balances.
My world literally tore in two – firstly I am a yoga teacher – how can I not do any yoga for weeks/months/whatever they decide?
Secondly YOGA IS MY LIFE. Telling me I can’t stand on my head or do arm balances is like telling Cher she can’t sing anymore.
I’m not going to lie, the news has hit me like a lead balloon.
Little happy go lucky Emily hasn’t really been round the last week or so and as a result, I miss her… and hate her, in equal measure.
She doesn’t have the issues I have. She doesn’t have the worries I have.
The news was hard, my recovery will be slow, so to sum it up in a nutshell:
- I now have to be very very careful coming back to a full yoga practice.
- I am on medication (Rivaroxaban – blood thinners) for six months, which means my DVT is expected to last that long, and during that time I may not be able to do another arm balance or head stand until I know that my arm is healed.
- My arm may not heal – I may be put on more drugs after that.
- I am now at risk of DVT for the rest of my life.
- The clot started in my elbow and ended in my neck, after that it had three choices: head, heart or lungs (luckily the universe AKA my builders who forced me to go to the doctors stopped it going any further).
- I now have to see a Haematologist, have blood tests and X Rays and need to be under the care of a vascular specialist to monitor me going forward.
- The drugs I am on have a lot of side effects – mass bruising, tiredness, dizziness, forgetfulness (and these are just the mild ones) – also I now have to wear a medical bracelet as on blood thinners if I cut myself it means I lose a hell of a lot of blood – so if I am in a car accident the paramedics need to know fast.
- This also means very heavy periods and I have to monitor my diet with more iron during this time (sorry lads but you need to know this stuff – periods are a natural part of life so there).
- I have to avoid Vitamin K, and a whole host of herbal remedies and other forms of drugs (like Ibuprofen) as they contradict the blood thinners (was contradict the right word? I have no idea, I couldn’t even remember the word for ‘window’ three days ago thanks to these drugs so who cares?)
- I have to be very, very careful not to cut, graze, fall or do anything to put myself at risk – and no tattoos or piercings either.
- I am no longer allowed sports massages – that’s how clots travel guys!
One small benefit – alcohol and peanut butter are natural blood thinners… It’s the small wins you have to take in the world.
So if this is the universe’s plan for me then what a joke. The universe deserves a friggin’ slap IMO (in my opinion).
But this is the second time I’ve written this blog, because I’m past the angry stage.
Now I’m just sad.
Those of you who follow me on social media will realise that I got some other bad news this weekend, in that one of my friends took his own life.
I went deeper down, deeper into sadness, and I did the only thing I could to make myself feel better: I shared.
I shared what I thought, I shared what I felt, and I shared things that I think might help people.
And maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. But it made me feel better.
It made me feel like I was doing something to help. If I couldn’t help myself by seeing the signs of DVT maybe I could help someone else, and if I couldn’t help Dave from taking his own life, maybe I can save someone else from doing it.
My friend Dinah said: “The universe places these things on the people that can process them”.
That’s a nice way of looking at it Dinah, I can’t say Dave could process his depression… although maybe he did? Maybe he’s free? Maybe he’s happy now? Who is to say? And I can’t dwell on what I don’t know. I just have to hope and trust that Dave is OK, wherever he is.
I have to surrender to that, or I will fall further into the depression trap.
And I have to surrender to the path that the universe has chosen for me and if it’s Deep Vein Thrombosis, well you guaran-damn-tee that everyone will know the symptoms and be able to spot the signs because I will tell them how.
… And you can guaran-damn-tee that I’ll wear my bruises with pride alongside my rose gold medical bracelet (no they didn’t have pink – but rose gold is basically the pink of the metallics world so I figure that’s ok!)
When I was diagnosed, my teacher Debbie said to me: What would Yoda say?
Simple. Yoda would say: “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”
And here we are: Surrender – Isvara Pranidhana.
It means “cultivating a deep and trusting relationship with the universe, and making each action an offering to something bigger than us.”
Last week I wrote this in my blog: “Truth is, I don’t know if I can surrender. I honestly don’t.”
This week as I re-write it all, I know I can. I just can’t promise there won’t be a few tears along the way.
Dave took his own life. I am lucky that I still have mine.
Now is the time to surrender to the fact that the universe wants me here for some reason.
So I will surrender, and I will go with how I feel, I will listen to my body and my heart and do what it tells me.
And if it tells me to cancel my classes I will, because I’m not emotionally stable enough to teach. And if it tells me to share from the heart my thoughts and feelings and experience of this Niyama in my blog, I will. And if it wants me to talk openly about depression and mental health and other various issues on social media I will, because I know it’s helped some people, and I know that it might help others without me even knowing.
So surrender to the moment, surrender to the feeling, surrender to the felt sense of your body. If it hurts stop, if it feels good let it flow, if it challenges you embrace it, if it worries you don’t fear it – ask yourself why? Enquire, explore and if it still doesn’t work for you let it go.
Just surrender, and trust that deep down your body and your breath will always know what feels right.