Almost four weeks ago I did something, don’t know what, or when or how, but I twisted my rib and it was very sore. I knew to take it easy for a bit. Incidentally, I had scheduled a surgery to remove a lipoma from my lower back and had waited a long time to do it so even with the sore rib, I went in for the surgery almost three weeks ago. Stitches came out a few days ago. It’s still tender. The rib is better. I am on the mend and slowly easing in after almost a month of little to no physical practice.
I’ve been able to teach the whole time because I need my words more than I need my body to demo, and that has been fine.
But it’s been challenging not to do the practice I love.
I’ve hit this bump before, with the neck injury from the car accident a couple of years ago. It changed so much for me, and I fear talking ad nauseam about these things and sounding like a little old lady complaining about all her ailments.
It’s always shocking to be reminded that my body is aging and I maybe can’t do everything I want to. I still feel, mentally, like I’m about 34, (I’ll be fifty in October). So I get a little indignant. What do you mean I can’t do X,Y and Z? I’m only 34!
It’s also hard when you are a yoga teacher because you know you are a better teacher when you are practicing regularly. When I can’t practice I feel like a schlump. A bit like a gray cloud is hanging over me.
I did meditate almost every day. I am doing “yoga” in other ways. I watched a lot of continuing ed videos and did learn a bunch, but my body craves the asana.
When I go without a physical yoga practice for a while, doubt creeps in. Have I given up? What if it all falls away? (Yoga is something that helps my busy mind not catastrophize, BTW).
But every time, the second my body is ready, I find myself on my mat, exploring. Where am I now? How do I feel in this pose? How do I feel in this moment?
One time after the car accident I stood at the top of my mat, eyes closed and said silently, as if to my practice itself, “Come back to me.”
Instantly I felt in my heart, “Your practice never left you. You left it.”
I had. I was so sad about what it could no longer be, I was blocking what it might become.
Back on the mat, it’s always right there waiting, greeting me like a dear friend.