I lay content in shavasana filled with relief that the tone and sculpt class has come to a close. I focus on deep breathing, trying to ignore my already taut muscles. Tomorrow will be filled with the exploration of new aches and pains. I visualize my breathe filling my stomach, then my rib cage and then forcing my upper chest to lift like an expanding balloon. I send healing energy to my shoulders and chest. My eyes are closed, my body in the same position to complete a perfect snow angel. I let everything go, the morning work frustrations, the deluge of text messages from my teens, and worry about an upcoming doctor appointment. I let it all slip from my sweaty limbs like a melting Popsicle onto the mat. In out, inhale, exhale.
Determined to do full plank push-ups to keep up with the class I ignored the earlier warning of Kimberley, the instructor to take it easy since it was my first time in this class. Kimberley greeted me my first time at Igita telling me I was brave to cut my hair so short. Without skipping a heartbeat I responded that it was actually growing back. She smiled and nodded fully understanding the underlying meaning of the exchange.
Namaste, us yogis recite and clap. Class is done. I gather my weights and blocks and move towards the rack for return.
“Well done. You did it.” I realize Kimberley is addressing me.
I hear myself respond that I did better than I thought I would. “My strength is slowly coming back.” I add locking eyes with her unsure if this is too intimate a detail to be vocalized amongst a room of moving bodies.
“I can see. Keep it Up!” she says genuinely.
I’m overcome with emotion. Kimberley’s warmth and energy show me she’s proud of my progression, she has watched me silently, assessing my struggle. My vulnerability hits me like a tsunami. My eyes fill with tears as I make my way up the stairs. My physical strength is returning, slowly, but I still feel weak inside. It has been nearly two years since my last chemotherapy session, and just over one year since my final breast reconstruction surgery…the dates are there on my calendar, all the way back, behind me…all over, yet it’s with me every breath I take. In out, inhale, exhale.