Since I had such a relaxing time at my first yoga experience, I decided to return the next weekend and do it again. Things were going along swimmingly during the warm-up section, until the instructor asked us to extend our arms out to our sides and join hands with the people next to us. Eff. Thankfully, I was on the end of a row, so I only had to touch the person to my left. We didn’t actually join hands, which was better for me, but I still hated that my drippy hand was in the vicinity of her hand. I made sure my hand was on the bottom, my palm facing the grass that I wished I could disappear underneath. Her palm was face down as well, on top of my hand. The touching lasted about 20 seconds, maybe? I wasn’t counting, but it felt like an absolute eternity.
As soon as I heard the instructions to bow and say namaste (which means the Divine in me recognizes the Divine in you), I thought that would be it and then we’d move into some poses on our yoga mats. But no, we had to join hands. Remember when I talked about the anger I felt the last time I was instructed to join hands in a public place? Yeah, that beast completely returned full force for a few minutes until I tried to pocket it and take it home for later. It wasn’t the instructor’s fault. It was part of her yoga lesson plan. I get it. I am responsible for the anger, yes, and I don’t necessarily think that anger is a bad thing. Anger is an emotion just like sadness and happiness are. It deserves to be dealt with, too. I was angry that I couldn’t comfortably participate in a “normal” person’s activity without my stupid body acting up. I mean, seriously! Here I was, living on the edge and tipping my comfort zone on its side, trying to see just how far I could go and not allow my hyperhidrosis to hold me back. And then a trigger situation is thrown at me full force and messes it up.
I understand and truly believe that we are all connected and that we are more alike than unalike. The intention of joining hands with other yogis was to embrace and encompass the energy of all of us in the same location. But what happens when someone’s energy changes because they are not able to be in balance with their body? When they can’t control or even help that their body sweats? I’ll tell you what happens. The fact that you are doing yoga ceases to exist. What takes its place is the vicious inner monologue. The one that says, Oh, my God. Why did they have to tell us to join hands? I can’t do this. It’s making me uncomfortable! I hate my body. What is she thinking as she’s touching my hand? Great. Now I’ll never be able to cool back down and focus on the yoga. How dare they make us do this? Is my yoga experience really going to be any better because of this? I mean, REALLY! Can’t we just stay in our own space and move together without touching?
I ended up emailing the yoga studio that puts on this free event. I explained my hyperhidrosis and then said (even though I knew it might be too much to ask) if they might be able to avoid future touching poses in their classes. The owner of the yoga studio actually emailed me back! Here is what she said:
The process of yoga is coming back to our innate wholeness, understanding that we are not separate and that as a community we are one. The fact that you mention this to me is a wonderful sign that you are practicing the first principal of yoga and wellness, awareness.
It is only through awareness that we can begin to heal ourselves. When we have an imbalance of any nature in our physical body, it usually stems first from the mind body. Making such a request as you have, indicates that you are allowing the mind body to lead your physical body into a repetitive cycle of non-healing.
I would recommend that you see me at the park Wednesday (this week) if you come. Arrive a few minutes early and I will show you a cooling pranayama that will help put your mind to ease and mitigate the sweat.
Our practice is a community practice and it will at times include touching, greeting, partners (as is the case in the July 4 class). You might want to consider coming in to a private therapy practice with me, to work through some of these issues and while at the park, respect what is right for you as you continue on your journey.
I agree with everything she says. I am on a quest to become more of myself, to live a better life. This is why I’ve been experimenting with all of these sweat-friendly products and techniques, acupuncture, yoga, and hopefully soon, meditation. If I could learn to get out of my head whenever I want to and focus on something else, perhaps I can escape my hyperhidrosis. This is very hard for one who ruminates on absolutely everything in her life. I have not been back to the yoga class as of right now. It’s just too overwhelming having to worry about my sweating in advance. The thought of going to a class and then having to either put my yoga mat far away from others so they can’t reach me to touch me, or having to stop and say, Sorry, I’m not comfortable touching you, or Sorry, I have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis, blah blah blah…sounds even worse. I don’t want to call attention to myself and look like a freak. Gag me.
I will be looking into some private lessons with her, though. I need to learn this cooling pranayama she is talking about. If I can do it in private with her, bring along my trusty fan, and not worry about others around me or having to touch them, then I can keep moving forward in my yoga practice. This anger that I’m feeling? I’d like to harness it for my inner badass. I’m tired of being held back because of my hyperhidrosis. This past year and having this blog has taught me that it’s not just about me anymore. It’s about every single one of you who have hyperhidrosis. It’s about every single one of us stepping out of our puddles in whatever way we can and learning to live, not just exist, in spite of our condition. Who’s with me?
Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water.
Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup;
You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle;
You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot.
Now water can flow or it can crash.
Be water, my friend. ― Bruce Lee
Water is the source of life. I’m on a quest to learn how I can use what I’ve been given in a way that doesn’t hinder me.
Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle