It seems that even the most careful Yogi/ni has to face injury at some point or another: I’ve busted my hip (I’m not quite sure what exactly happened to it, but the outcome is quite painful sometimes). So am I crazy or what, suggesting that we all get ourselves a nice little ’something‘ in our joints, tendons and ligaments? Well, only if it’s to learn a few very valuable lessons that we might miss out otherwise… ;)
There’s a great many things one can learn from a busted joint or injured muscle:
1.) Get to know your body!
I feel my body! :) I understand some movements better, and also a lot of muscular actions that are otherwise „hidden“ to my attention. Because my body hurts during certain movements and in a few poses too, I begin to see what an ingenious piece of art it is! Wouha! When I’m walking, my hip hurts most during the phase when all my weight is borne by the right leg only. So, what I also learned from all of this is how walking works…
2.) Say hello to your Ego!
I feel my ego. Oh, do I feel my EGO!!! I notice I have a tendency to keep going ‚til I’m either crippled or otherwise severly impeded. Ah, nothing new to you, I reckon! First thing I asked myself was: should I/do I have to stop practicing? I guess any Yoga teacher would tell me ’no, if you adapt your practice‘. So here comes the tricky second question: HOW should I continue practicing? The sane half of my brain suggests that I cut down a bit and put aside some strenuous poses for the time being. The egoistic half, however, keeps getting on my nerves by telling me I’ll grow fat and ugly (didn’t we have that before?), that a good Yoga practice should leave me all sweaty (huh?) and that anyways, I have to continue with Iyengar’s practice no matter what … Very interesting, but please, sod off!
3.) Get creative
My busted hip leaves me with few poses I can/should do without affecting it in any way. Ahaha.
But! I see I’ve gained some „expertise“ on how to tailor my sessions so they fit like gloves. For example, I overcame my ego and designed a rather short (uah!) and slow session after my 10 hours journey on the train, which had really pumped all my juices. The slow, short, sweet session turned out to be perfect. On Friday, I had another short session planned, but after some 10 poses, my body & mind were begging for more, so I ended up doing 90 minutes. On Saturday, my hip hurt so much I skipped the lower body entirely and went for arm balances. My Crane took off like an airplane and my Side Crane too… Although I must admit that both require some hip-work… But it didn’t hurt!
And there’s more Yoga glory to share. I remember one particular moment after class this week (I went once, the rest was all homework) when I felt so warm, supple and strong, I had a hard time not walking the streets with a (too) huge smile on my face. I was listening to Ms. Apple and my body responded to her voice with the greatest joy. It was as if the sound of it became pure energy, cruising gently through my veins… Ah!
And now imagine that Yogis are considering this kind of bliss as our natural state of being. Do you still wonder why I’m putting myself through all of this?