I am not looking to blame anyone for my injuries, not the practice, not my teachers and not myself.
What I am interested in are the questions. Why do professional dancers, when they can no longer compete, stop dancing for fun? Why do professional ball players never toss a ball around in the back yard? And my husband, an astrophysicist that came to America to launch the Hubble Space Telescope, why doesn’t he own even a small telescope?
I don’t really care about my injury or my pain. I am thinking about my vehicle for transformation and it’s durability. On the one hand, because my body is not suited to bend, I could turn in the "tool of yoga" for something new. On the other hand, the wise place in me knows that each vehicle has a shadow, an insufficiency. I choose instead to take my chariot into the shop and take a look.
Yoga has been my vehicle for physical health and mental well being for half my life. I give credit to my practice for everything GOOD that I am. Yes I have had help: family, doctors, therapists, healers, and teachers, but because I put the time in each day to struggle a bit on my mat, my back remained strong and my mind open. Maybe I was lucky, maybe I just happened to choose teachers who were right but I have never been pushed or hurt in my practice.
My desire to improve externally, to look good, to be impressive is there. Even if impressive is relative. My practice is impressive considering… But as of today my practice is definitely not externally impressive. This creates feelings of shame and defeat. I say things to myself like, “ I should take up sailing, hiking or ballroom dancing…. "but I won’t.
I won’t because I practice yoga to know myself and I realize I will meet this same place with anything I do. If I changed my discipline I would strive, achieve ultimately, meet my edge…then what?
So I went to the mat today. I did my physical therapy exercises first, then part of the primary series and a few backbends, which I really do love. I didn’t push, I was helped and I explored. I closed with a restorative practice and my teacher, as I was leaving the room, said I did great. I felt great.
My teacher Richard Freeman says we often confuse the state of our body with the quality of our practice. There is so much to think about in relation to that one statement. There is so much depth to explore. I realize there are so many mysteries in this life and so many different ways to live it.
Should every runner stop running because it is bad for the joints? And Cross fit, which I don’t get at all, the participants are finding fun, community, personal transformation, and health.
I watched the movie Nitro Circus and it begins by saying this group of “brothers” finds tasks that are said to be impossible and they do it anyway.
There has to be space for this kind of adventure in our world. I need this sense of adventure in my life. Even if I choose not to leave my house I will eventually get sick, get injured and in the end die. How I choose to live my life is totally personal, private and a treasure not to be missed.