Hi beautiful people! How are you? Gees, I have gone MIA on my blog. These past 2 months have felt somewhat crazy. Since we last spoke/wrote, I returned to see my beautiful family in PNG. After close to 2.5 years, it felt like a relief to see the family again. It was much needed for me. A time to reconnect in 3D! I am SO grateful for technology and that it has enabled me to video my parents and family. However, we are humans after all! And those hugs are important, and it felt amazing to hug my Mum and Dad. I cried when I saw them again. The family are well, the kids have grown, and I met new bubs in the family and feel sad we lost several family members over the past few years, and I didn’t get to pay my respects. Losing loved ones is a natural part of life, ageing, growth, change…yet it still hurts deeply and there is an element of grief, loss and with time, healing…
Recovery and rest in PNG
Recovering from COVID-19 has felt long at times. There has been a sense of fatigue to see the hurt in the world, anxiety, isolation and also the not knowing about what’s coming next, and like a personal hit after another with regards to fractured personal relationships earlier in the year. So maybe I got sick with COVID-19 when on some level, I needed to rest and slow down and process life. Rather than speed through life. Ironic, as I am a yoga teacher and regularly encourage people to slow down! Took COVID-19 and illness for me to slow down. Physically, COVID-19 truly knocked the wind out of me, and I was left feeling fatigued for many weeks. I had grand plans to take the time on holidays to get fit, hit the gym, write a dozen blog posts, plan workshops and classes. None of that happened to be honest!
I got home, cried because it felt like forever since I had seen my family and sat and talked. There has been a sense of grief in some ways due to the physical disconnection. I got very spoilt, which made up for lost time! We went to the village, where my grandparents are buried in Kairuku (pronounced k-eye-roo-ku). Kairuku is close to 3 hours out of Port Moresby. We left on a Thursday and the drive down was fairly seamless. We were lucky it did not rain, and roads had been graded. A little bit of rain means trucks are getting bogged or sliding from side to side of the road unless you have a skilled and experience driver to take you off road and into the village. Coming back, we were not as lucky and were skewing in the mud from side to side before we hit the bitumen! Shout out to my skilled Uncle who drove us back on the highway without a worry. Not to mention the giant tree across the road as we got closer into town (K20 per vehicle to pass through to pay the locals for clearing the road ;-)) and a police roadblock right before Agevairu (which is where everyone stops to refresh, walk around, buy some market, or pies) . Quite the adventure returning to Port Moresby from Kairuku after Easter (to say the least).
That said, I saw my nieces and nephews, my brothers and sisters, my parents, my cousins, grand aunt and felt grateful to be home again. We are spoilt with in the village with fresh guava, bananas, lemon trees, fresh coconuts and fresh fish and vegetables. Organic doesn’t cost the earth! I am always in awe of my cousins, aunts and uncles who are based in the village and live in close connection with the land and elements. Cuzzies, uncles and aunties instinctively know when to plant, when to harvest, when to fish, how to fish, skilled with skippering the dinghy and connected with traditions and customs. Teaching me about sustainable living: planting and growing food, only taking what you need from the sea and garden and sharing the oversupply, so nothing is wasted. Connecting at home was special as I had long unrushed conversations with people like my uncle, catching up over breakfast and enjoy hot cups of tea. At last, we were able to catch up properly and talk.
My immune system post COVID-19
I feel pretty strong, post COVID-19. Not as strong as before I got sick in March! Which sux because I feel like I was making some progress physically. I have also noticed a laboured breath in recent weeks, which is a symptom of long COVID-19. Something I have been keeping an eye on. So, although I was not as productive as I usually enjoy being, taking time to rest in April and May has been important. The past week, I have been down with a cold (not COVID-19! I tested negative plus different symptoms) as Brisbane faces a spike in cold and flu as it cools down slightly. I can’t help but think the recent illness I have experienced is my body intervening and calling a time out to slow down. The week before I got sick in March, I had jammed it full of yoga, gym, work, blogging, running and surfing. Lol. So, perhaps my body was saying slow down. Plus, something about being in a pandemic and COVID-19 around.
Illness and yoga
In terms of yoga, I wanted to share this journey I have been on with you to highlight because I practice yoga, it does not mean it is always love and light here! There are ups and downs and yoga goes beyond the physical practice of yoga. Life will have ups and downs, and yoga is there to offer self-awareness about what you need and how you can take action to support yourself better. When you take care of yourself, that enables you to serve your community the way you want to, from a full and loving space.
In April, I had to be honest and ask myself – what do I need? That was rest and time with family. This recent illness and my laboured breathing has meant that I am doing more awareness exercises around my breath to support the flow of my inhalation and exhalation. I have felt anxious juggling a few different projects, concerned about long COVID-19 and keen to get home and connect with the family and remain a present and supportive friend. So has felt cray cray at times.
Something I regularly mention on my blog is the practice of yoga offers tools to support you wherever you may be in your practice. Whether you are training for a marathon and need to stretch out your muscles with strong stretches, or perhaps a busy Mama at home that needs a restorative yoga practice to reset, or even a busy corporate worker, or unemployed! I’ve been all of the above, and yoga has been a tool to help ground me in an everchanging inner and outer world.
Yoga for me in April and May has been very much around breathwork, pausing, resting and restoring, filling up, allowing myself to take a minute and inhale deeply and be held by family and friends in these moments of chaos.
As we head into June, I am excited, refreshed and ready. I hope you are staying well and healthy. The crux of this post is around sharing to invite you to listen to yourself, your body and your heart….what do you need? How can yoga best support you?
I’ll be here again soon to share about a few workshops and classes coming up soon.
With love and thanks,