Challenged

Today has been challenging. Not horrible, just… Well, challenging.

I woke up just feeling “off”. My legs hurt- yoga hurt, not heart problems from restricting because I really haven’t been… I guess I should say HADN’T been. I was freezing and numb and my stomach hurt.

I knew before I even opened my eyes that it was going to be a difficult food day. There was no back and forth, or self loathing, or angry compulsive thoughts. I simply wasn’t hungry. People with normal, non-disordered, eating habits have “not feelin’ it” days… Right? Does that mean I can too, and call it “approaching normal”? I ate some fruit and decided yes.

I was having a good class. It was nice and hot. I’m loving all the New Years Res-ers. They are all so excited about taking steps to improve their lives and the energy in the room has been fantastic! We had a visiting teacher. He was down several months ago and pinned my knees and shoulders to the floor then taught sitting beside me, holding me against the floor. I was pissed. But, we spend most of Saturday together in the posture clinic. Everyone had a good time, fueled yoga is improved yoga.

I was excited to show him how strong and quiet my practice has become since I’ve been feeding myself more and hating myself less. I watched as he systematically pointed out something positive for every person in the room, except me. He got angry and stopped me from going tree to toe without hands. Even though I’ve been doing that easily for at least 10 years and on Saturday, I learned to do it with out bending at the waist first and was excited to try it in a full class setting. Then. He stopped me from coming up from toe to tree without hands- well trying. I get closer everyday.

In camel, I did 2nd set full. I ALWAYS do 2nd set full. It’s not perfect, but no one is gonna hit their heals on the first try! You have to miss 14788431 times first, then one day, BAM! There they are! So, tonight, I ALREADY had my hands on my toes, elbows on the ground, let my hips drop just a little to gain enough leverage to push my face up. And he started SCREAMING at me from across the room. “Hey. You. Little friend. Don’t do that. You are not ready! What you eat today? Stop it! I’m serious! Do. Not. Do. That!”

Humiliating. And devastating. And how dare he assume, announce to the room, or imply to any one that I have an eating disorder! I am working really hard here! The voice of anorexia is brutal, and she’s proving to be a bitch to vanquish. But, with every single class I get stronger; physically, mentally and emotionally. Each and every time I work through Bikram’s 26+2, I reclaim another fragment of myself. Yes, it is rather extreme in the grand scheme of yoga. And yes, agreeing to allow my practice to continue completely unrestricted while perusing treatment for anorexia, may have been a scary compromise for an eating disorder specialist to make. But, in the end, this yoga is going to save my life, not claim it.

And, meanwhile, I’d like to practice and share energy in a supportive, non-judgmental studio.

If he had a concern, it should have been addressed privately. I’m not stupid. I know exactly what is going on, and would have been more than willing to have a very frank discussion. I’m even inclined to believe that he may have an intensely personal connection to anorexia and that from his perspective he is doing something positive.

Attacking me, the way he did tonight, just makes all of the effort put in and progress made feel like wasted energy. I mean, if people are just going to look at me and see only an eating disorder anyway. Why not just HAVE an eating disorder, because its a hell of a lot easier than fighting one!

The thing is, I’m trying. Or, “trying right” as Bikram might say. I’m extremely critical and hard enough on myself, by myself. I don’t need an army of armature foodies/yogis critiquing my every move. I just really need, regular friends, to love, support, and accept ME, Yogini, the PERSON.

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2 thoughts on “Challenged

  1. So sorry to hear this! Unfortunately many people don’t really know how to approach and communicate with people with eating disorders. Sometimes the condition itself can be fairly apparent to outsiders. I’m positive the teacher was simply concerned for you and as a visiting teacher, not fully aware of the level of your practice, but sadly didn’t have the communication skills and perhaps experience to deal with the situation correctly. Peace!

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