I suppose all the movement and writhing while rehearsing for this performance did me in! Never had I experienced a burning electrical pain like I was having in my left leg and only from my knee to my hip! Never in my wildest dream would I think that this pain would lead me to discovering yoga, finding the path to an enlightened self-awareness on the mat and honoring the light in me with the light in others. Yes, namaste.
I was rehearsing for a performance while living in Boston. It was for the New England Fringe Festival (NEFF), and the play was under the direction of the talented and gifted director, Lau Lapides of Lau Lapides Company. There was no dialogue in this play…hence, the name “The Role Play.” I was simply a mime like character who told a poignant and moving story through total body movement and hand gestures. Not even my face was visible as I wore a “Phantom of the Opera” like mask on not just the front of my face but the back!
About a week before the performance, I started having a tingle in my left leg. It wasn’t bad, just annoying. I thought maybe I just needed to stretch more. Each day this tingle got just a tad more noticeable. It would come and go, and it would go more more when I was just sitting, and come more when I was even walking. The tingle quickly turned into major electrical shock waves that bordered on excruciating. I pushed myself, took Ibuprophen, positive thinking–all those things you know you must do when you HAVE to do it. The performance was quickly approaching, and I could not whimp out!
The pain got so intense that I could barely walk even 10-15 feet. I remember this because I desperately wanted something from PF Chang’s one night when Ben, my husband, was out of town, so I called for takeout. PF Chang’s was nearby–down the hill (Beacon Hill) and across the Boston Common. A short distance I had often walked without any effort whatsoever. This time it was different!
Getting home with my stash in tow was like something out of a movie. It was pouring rain. I had the PF Chang’s big paper bag in one hand (almost ready to cave way from being wet), the umbrella nearly blowing me into the sky like Mary Poppins, and my leg feeling like it was attached to a 1000 volt electrical current! Every 10-15 steps, I stopped praying there’d be a bench to sit on–sometimes there was, most of the time there wasn’t. And, I still had the hill to climb up back to the apartment. By the time I made it home, I could barely breathe.
No longer able to tolerate the pain, my doctor called in some heavier duty pain meds until I could bet back to South Carolina and have an MRI. The old saying, ‘The show must go on!’ did. Thank goodness the director tweaked at the very last minute some of the choreography allowing me to sit in a chair on stage, but still portray my character. Not a person at the NEFF probably knew what was going on…thank goodness I was wearing a mask because I could hide the pain!
And, that brings me to YOGA! The MRI showed what most of us over 40 will find with our spines–problems! Hence, the pain was coming from things like a bulging disc. Not wanting to undergo any type of surgery, I decided to take a chiropratic and yoga route to help my issue. I mean I could always opt for something more radical IF these less invasive techniques didn’t work. That was over three years ago, and I am here to tell you yoga has not only worked for my leg issue, but it has opened a whole new world to me! A world full of peace.
A world full of honoring my body. A world full of body strength, toning and agility. It is something that I only wish I’d have taken up sooner in life, but am so thankful I have in this third chapter of my life. Regardless of who you are, what your circumstances are, how good or bad of condition you are in, there is something that yoga can offer you–give it some thought–you might just find, like me, that a whole new beautiful world can open! As you can see, even while doing yoga, I’m never too far from my red spatulas and cooking!