Family, History of Me, Yoga


(The quote will make sense at the end)

I almost died yesterday in a basic yoga class.

OK, I’m obviously exaggerating.

I won’t lie… The past few weeks have been rough coming back to my own yoga practice ever since I had my gallbladder surgery about 6 weeks ago. I have been purposefully avoiding more vigorous flows because I know I’m out of shape (and yeah, it had been a while since I’d been to the gym even before my surgery). So, I took a flow class yesterday — and we’re not talking power yoga or anything advanced, just a basic-level vinyasa class. My Fitbit showed that my heartrate was in “cardio” almost 40 minutes of a 75 minute class. Like, it was tough. And I’m really sore today.

But, I felt pissed.

This “recovery” period has been slower going than I thought it would be, and those mean thoughts that I believed I had gotten past… well, they started creeping back in while I was in class yesterday. And then, I started getting pissed at myself for thinking that way. Because I knew better. I’ve been through these kinds of thoughts before.

I texted a friend, because I had to complain… I mean, talk, about how aggravated I was. I needed someone to knock a little sense into me. She reminded me to feel and witness it.

Light bulb…!

I’ve been doing a lot of genealogical research lately. My husband and I had 23&Me tests done (surprise, surprise: I’m 100% Jewish!), and I’ve been trying to track our family history back through the ages with, which, in Jewish genealogy is not that easy, because do you know how many Jacob Cohens there are? A ZILLION. I thought back to my research about my ancestors and the hardships they endured to come to this country and make a better life.

Being pissy about being out of shape? Whatever. It doesn’t matter. None of the crap we let get to us on the daily really does. Not in the grand scheme of things.

I recalled a story my mother told me about how her grandmother got a letter at her home in New York after WW2 from a (Christian) neighbor of her (Jewish) family in Russia, saying, “I’m sorry to tell you this, but YOU HAVE NO MORE FAMILY LEFT. They were all taken into the street and shot.”

By the end of 1941, there were no Jewish people left in the Mogilev, Russia (now known as Belarus).

The last Jews of Mogilev, Russia, in 1941, being rounded up by Germans. Some of my family members could very well have been in this picture. Click here for more information and other chilling images.

Can you imagine? I can’t. We have it so easy here in our 21st century lives in the USA, where we can do and be whoever we want. This is a total first world problem.

Yes, I felt pissed about being out of shape yesterday. I felt annoyed that I am not as fit as I was a couple of months ago.

But guess what? I’m alive to feel that way.

Suddenly, I was filled with pure gratitude…

What a blessing it is to even have the privilege of feeling annoyed.

PERSPECTIVE, my friends.

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