So the saying goes, the only people who can’t do yoga are lazy people…yet there are exceptions. One such exception, is sick with a fever. Building heat with a high temperature is dangerous, and I have been layed up with the flu all week. The high fever, not only technically meant no practice, I truly didn’t have the energy to do more than lift a mug of tea or cup of water to my feverishly parched lips. My family enjoys making fun of my dramatic flare, like when they ask how I’m feeling. I guess most people might respond, “achy and weak”, but I sigh and moan, saying it feels as if someone has stragically placed ten pound sacks of sharp, cold and dirty gravel all over my body, is that not the same thing? I honestly didn’t think of that first, brief, accurate synopsis, until suggested to me, by my husband, as he was chuckling at my words, and yes, I laugh, but still those bags are heavy, moving is tricky. 🙂
I thought today might be the day of getting a few sun salutations on the mat, as my fever broke yesterday, but alas, my body told me differently after I got out of the shower. The effort to do more than put on a fresh pair of pajamas and climb into bed, was too much. Anyone who knows me well, knows this is not my normal modus operandi, considering I usually have to tone myself back a notch. I haven’t felt so completely exhausted with a flu bug, ever.
A few friends have kindly checked on me, and comically about half asked me point blank about the flu shot, had I gotten one? The answer is no, I didn’t. I swear I don’t understand why asking that helps, if I did get the shot, well, then what? It didn’t work? Bummer. But if I didn’t get the flu shot, do I deserve the flu? Is there less empathy for my lack of conformity? Do I have to defend my choices and the validity? Will my allergy to the ingredients to the shot make that ok again? Why do I feel so annoyed by this? Am I over reacting? We may all be human, but the medical aspects or choices are not one size fits all, nor is anything else except for being human, flawed and all. Where oh where is the tolerance and compassion over the dogma?
Dogma is defined by the Oxford dictionary as such:
a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.
Interestingly enough, the origin of dogma, from Ancient Greek and Latin, came to use in the mid 16th century: via late Latin from Greek dogma ‘opinion,’ from dokein ‘seem good, think.’ Seem good, think. Just look at it, ‘seem good, think,’ also regarded as opinion. I’m too sick to really go off on the tangents I’d normally explore without getting lost or sidetracked. However, I think the concept, in line with Plato’s quote of Socrates, “I know that I know nothing” or “I know one thing: that I know nothing,” are much better starting points for life, for practice, for asana, for everything, than a perspective of black and white irrefutable dogma. The more we judge,assume we know, claim to be wise or elevate ourselves against the differences or choices anyone else has made the more we open ourselves up to sensations of different than, anger, distain, fear, disgust, and detest, instead of love. I recently read a speech given by a favorite author and poet, Sherman Alexie, something he said in it, resonated with me. “I’m going to approach everything I do with as much love as possible. I fail impossibly like most of us, but I still try.” I think that’s the secret when we don’t get to caught up in ego, start with love, it really does make everything easier, maybe even kapotasana.
Art work by Rachel Giannascoli, I love this drawing, it’s from an album cover, for Alex G. Beach Music, take a listen!