Injury is one of the most terrifying experiences anyone can face. Your daily routines are halted, and no one truly understands the devastation you are experiencing inwardly and outwardly. Runners experience injuries every year. Yet, we brave the elements and train for ridiculous races that range from 26 miles, to 100 miles, and beyond. Although the risk for injury is inevitable, we still take it. Running is very much about control. You control your pace, your heartbeat, your breathing, and your distance. Control is effective at improving goals, getting faster, becoming better, and creating that euphoric feeling of bliss.
Yoga on the other hand teaches us something slightly different. It lovingly teaches us to let go of the egotistical need to control. However…Please don’t mistaken this for complacency and laziness. In the universe lies a process of creation, death, and rebirth. Your control runs deeper than the perceived physical body, and true change occurs at a more subtler lever, no matter the direction. In this awareness, which is passive, the problem or the cause is given an opportunity to unfold itself and so give its full significance.
Here are the major lessons I learned while healing a sprained ankle through my yoga teacher training.
There is nothing that happens to you that was not created by you.
Understand, this is hard to accept. We want to believe that forces greater than us are in control and creating our destiny. I beg to differ. Could there have been a reason for the injury? Could you have been more aware and in a more present state? Were you ignoring the signs? Time creates the illusion of no causal relationship but there is one. There is a lesson in this. What is yours?
Take care of yourself and don’t feel ashamed.
I never thought I would have to back down from a pose. I was that obnoxious student who pushed herself to do everything, fast, and perfectly. News flash: That is not the purpose of life or the purpose of yoga. The key to evolution is adaptation. This you will learn as you begin to listen to your body in its new state. You will learn about yourself all over again.
Your connections to others are worth more than gold.
Your social circles may shift, and time spent with certain people will change. Those who are with you in heart and spirit, will continue to be with you through your transition. You will find different teachers, and take a different path. Never look back in sadness, but look forward and embrace all the wonderful new people you have to meet. Your ability be more compassionate to others will multiply, this is the hidden blessing of being injured.
Yoga is not a competition about forcing yourself into the shape of the person on the mat next to you or a picture you have seen. Your body is incredibly intelligent: If it tells you to back off, back off. Learn to move with ease and go with the flow. Find that flexibility in your mind, and your body will follow.