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Getting back on the mat July 24, 2008

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My teacher sent me a powerful email, which spoke to me on a deep level. Without going in to detail, she basically told me I needed to get back on the mat and as soon as possible. She was right. I allowed fear to overwhelm me when the doctor said I couldn’t practice because of my injury. I felt hopeless and defeated and I allowed myself to fall in to a place of feeling sorry for myself. I tried to find the beauty in what was happening, but I lost myself and allowed lower emotions to take over. 

Anger, fear, and hurt are emotions that will snowball if permitted. All you need to do is give them a little power by focusing on them and they will destroy you in a minute…flattening you like a human crepe. All it takes is the ego creeping in with negative thoughts and you’ll find yourself spinning out of control. It’s an awful feeling to feel powerless, but sometimes all you have to do is be aware of what’s happening and then you can gain back some momentum. If you try and repress what you’re going through then you’ll probably sit in the drama a little longer than if you surrender and let go.

All you need sometimes is a reminder of who you are and what you are capable of and then suddenly you’re up and running again. A sliver of light comes through and you start to remember your purpose and drive. My teacher’s email was the ray of light, as she reminded me of something very important. She said, “Use your injury to be a better teacher and your neck shouldn’t stop you from teaching or doing yoga…you can’t let it stop you…not as important as yoga is to you…so I say to you get back on the mat…” She reminded me I was a healer and needed to sit down and do some energy work on myself. Why are we the last to heal ourselves? We’re always about teaching and healing and doing right by others, but then we leave ourselves high and dry.

She was right. I stopped feeling sorry for myself and got back on the mat. Of course I was limited as to what I could do, but I was moving and breathing and opening myself up instead of getting stuck in the trauma around my neck. Sometimes you have to make a choice…do I want to be a victim or do I want to truly heal and move past the thing that is holding me back. Fear will paralyze you and hold you down so let go and surrender so you can rise above the thoughts to that place of pure consciousness where true healing can begin.

I meditated and then did some self pranic healing. I cleansed my room with sage and then rolled up my mat and went to bed. I woke up feeling empowered and more alive than ever. The victim was gone…there was no more feeling sorry for myself. It was a new day and I was ready to conquer the world. My grounding was back and I vowed to use my injury as a beautiful gift to relate to people and the limitations they face. What happened to me is helping me understand my body more and be more gentle with myself as I flow in and out of poses. It is making me more aware of myself and my students. Injuries help us cultivate more compassion and loving kindness so stop feeling sorry for yourself, roll out your mat, and practice. Be gentle with yourself and make space around the injury…do not become the injury! Namaste

 

  

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Hands-on July 18, 2008

Posted by admin in : Yoga Tags:, , , , add a comment

Last night was the first time I taught since the accident. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do the poses like I normally do, but I had no idea I wouldn’t be able to do hand-on adjustments. It came to me as a surprise the first time I bent over to place my hands on a student’s back while in a seated forward fold. My neck immediately tightened and I felt like I couldn’t move. I had no problems standing or walking with my head straight, but bending over caused my head to fold forward, which brought about a great deal of pain.

It made me realize the importance of touch in a yoga class. Sure there are some people who have space issues and don’t want to be touched, but connecting with your students is very important and the best way to truly connect is person to person. When you lay your hands on someone you are not only energetically encouraging the students to adjust their alignment, you are giving them prana and prana is energetic love.

There are minor chakras in the palms of your hands so when you lay your hands upon a student you are sharing a piece of yourself…you are sharing love and compassion…two ingredients for a sweet practice. As humans, we were meant to be touched and loved in a gentle loving way. Our humanity depends upon it. Studies have shown that love can heal and yoga is about healing the body…loving the body…being kind and compassionate to the body.

I wouldn’t want to teach yoga if I couldn’t be myself and incorporate a loving heart in to the practice. It just wouldn’t seem right to me. It felt really weird walking around class last night verbally directing my students from one asana to the next without being able to get in close and share the love. It felt foreign and strange. I have a new appreciation for hands-on and look forward to healing so I can once again share the gift of touch…it is truly a healing art.

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