Fierce Medicine by Ana T. Forest
“I’m coaching you to dance with the one constant in life: change.”
“You’re not going to change change, but you can change how you go through it”
These two quotes, which came at the end of the book, are both along the same lines but they resonated with me and tied everything I had just read into a neat little package with a pretty pink bow.
This book was about Ana’s life journey, how she came into this world, how she dealt with it and where she wound up. It showed me the good, the bad and the ugly. It allowed me into her world, her experiences and the choices she mad. In the end though, it’s clear that change is the only constant we have. Life changes, people change and if you can’t roll with it life will crush you! You have to take the hand you’re dealt and make the best out of it by knowing when to bow out or when to keep playing. I was able to see this in Ana’s life when she stepped back from so many things she may have loved at one time or another: drugs, alcohol, abusive relationships; even positive things such as her work with horses, her studio she had to close down and her divorce from someone she loved so deeply. There are also the times she pushed forward and knew she couldn’t bow out and she had to keep going: pursuing yoga, detoxing in YTT, opening her own studio, etc. We all have these types of push forward and step back moments in our lives but it’s about picking and choosing which direction you move in when you’re presented with them. These choices are what pave our path in life, they make us who we are individually and they ensure that we continue to evolve (aka changing). We can’t change that but we can change how we perceive the change, how we handle the change and where we wind up between the time one change ends and another begins but that part is up to us.
This was an interesting book for me to read because for me yoga has always been a constant for me, especially when I was going through a big change in my life. If I had veered away from my practice for a while and all of a sudden was going through a change which brings on stress I would find myself back in a yoga studio before I could blink. I have lead a pretty good life and I’ve heard so many yogis talk about how yoga has pulled them out of the same things Ana’s book talks about : drugs, alcohol, body image issues, depression, abuse, etc. I’d be lying if I said I never had an issue with any of these because at one time or another I’ve probably had a problem with all of them but never severe enough that time and growth haven’t pulled me out of it. I almost feel guilty saying aloud that I haven’t suffered in those ways and that I’ve led a great life that has only become better since I’ve started dedicating so much of my body and my mind to yoga. Yoga is the dance, it gives you strength, it allows you to be vulnerable, it and keeps you moving forward. The funny thing is that while I have always turned to yoga to steady myself, it’s actually the yoga that has been the biggest change factor in my life. It has changed how I deal with situations, how I interact with people and loved ones, how I see the world and how I react to it; It’s made me cherish my body and be more cognizant of how I treat it; mostly, it’s helped me grow into my own and embrace who that is and who I’m becoming.