What being injured has taught me

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Just over a week ago I injured myself during yoga. My teacher was adjusting me into a new posture and as my leg was being manipulated I heard a tearing noise. Being me, I was in denial for the day and refused to believe anything bad had happened. It was not until the next morning that my leg was throbbing that I knew I needed to go to the hospital. After getting it checked out it was obvious that I had torn the ligaments down the side of my knee.

Practicing and teaching yoga every day means it’s hard not to take note of what this experience can teach me. Before my accident I was working really hard, going to yoga at 6:30am in the morning and then staying at my studio until 8pm every evening. I was also working at the weekend! I knew I needed to slow down but I had so much to do so it didn’t feel possible. I was getting so caught up in the stress of what I needed  to do I was exhausting my body. If my body wasn’t so weak and tired I don’t think I would have injured myself to such an extent. 

I have learnt that when you need to slow down and you don’t take care of yourself, the universe steps in and creates a situation that forces you to relax. It makes you stop to the point where you have no choice. I have had to stop for the last week, because the doctors said I had to rest with my leg up. 

When practicing Thai massage and teaching yoga I carry out a lot of adjustments . Having this type of injury has made me really realize the sensitivity which one needs to use when adjusting a yoga pose. We never know what has been going on in a person’s life each day. We have no idea how the body is reacting or how it will react to our touch. My injury has made me even more aware that I must be sensitive in my approach to massage and adjustments.

This experience has really made me more aware of my limits and I have learnt that there is no need to rush. I was rushing my life. I was rushing to finish a commission, rushing to go to the studio and rushing to do the next posture . And now, sitting here on my sofa unable to do any yoga, I am thinking to myself what is the rush? Why push myself to go to the next posture when I have all the time in the world at my disposal. Without the need or desire to rush and  finish the sequence I can see more clearly how I can slow down and begin to be more present in each posture, enjoying the beauty that it holds. I realize now there is no rush at all. I am only 25 and have my whole life to complete these postures. I should try not to let my ego run away with itself, wanting to achieve it all now. 

After my injury,  I was in denial and it took at least 2 days to admit to myself that I was injured. But in all experiences, there are always lessons to be learnt and the lesson I have taken from this experience is extremely valuable – I have learnt to slow down and enjoy each moment for what is it. I know now that in my classes I will be a lot softer and lighter in my touch. Maybe this can also translate in my approach to life. Maybe I can be softer with the people around me and lighter in the way I address the stresses in my life.

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