Returning to Yoga after Brain Surgery

I've been practicing yoga for 15 years, since I was about 10.  It's one of my favourite things, I've leaned on it through hard times, and in general, it's kept me pretty healthy.  A couple of times a week, I'd make a point to get on my mat, clear my mind and move and stretch.  It's been so valuable to me and central to my life that years ago, I decided that becoming a yoga teacher had to be on my bucket list.  I haven't checked it off yet, but it's there and ready for me whenever I am.  It's really nice to have this lifelong practice on my side when things get hard or uncomfortable, and I know that as I need it, it'll continue to support me.

I'm not going to lie, though, things do not feel the same on my yoga mat as they did before my brain surgery 6 months ago.

I waited about 5 months to go back to a class, and I picked a very gentle hatha practice.  I spoke to the teacher before hand, and let her know my situation.  Of course, like a sweet angel, she told me that if something didn't feel right, to move back to a pose that felt more comfortable, and that if I needed to rest, that was okay too.  The class that I picked was very slow and gentle, and while I totally blundered through any balance based poses, for the most part I felt pretty good.

Even though it felt good, though, I wasn't really ready for how foreign everything felt.  For most of my life, downward dog felt comfy and cozy, like slipping on my favourite pair of jeans.  Not in that class.  I was very aware of exactly how and where my body was struggling through poses that I'd done since puberty, and while a part of me wishes I could just look at it as a way to stay "present," I miss how comfortable yoga feels.

It's been two months since I went back to a yoga class, and for the most part, I've kept my practise at home.  It's been way less frequent than it probably should be, even though it feels easier every time I do it.  I guess I'm impatient; I want it to feel good and amazing now, not 6 months from now.  But, at least at home, I'm not tempted to try to keep up with the poses in a class when another flow might feel better.  A flow for me and my sometimes weird body.  I can hang out in poses that feel good, I can challenge myself in the ways I feel comfortable, and I never wonder if someone thinks I'm weird for hanging out in child's pose for a few extra breaths.