Thank goodness Yoga is gaining in popularity around the world. The young and old alike are learning that Yoga not only helps the body physically but also emotionally and mentally. Scientists have caught on and research is in favour of the Yogi! However, Yoga is not a cure-all, and even though it may improve our posture, muscle tone, flexibility and strength, accidents can still happen. We need to remember that part of being a good Yogi is being one that understands limits and accepts weaknesses, especially while injured.
Last year, I suffered from a nasty shoulder injury and the doctor had forbid me to do any Downward Dogs, nor Chatarangas! I admit I fell into a rut, my ego got the better of me. I was embarrassed to go to a studio because I simply didn’t want to modify my practice. It hurt to lift my arms, let alone put weight on them in Downward Dog. I did some Chair Yoga as an amazing substitute and my daily meditation practice improved as well since meditating required exercising the brain, not the shoulders.
After six months I gathered the courage to go to a studio, my trusty mat in the back row of course, and did a class. For every Downward Dog the teacher instructed, I was there in a modified All Fours position. For every Chataranga I was still there in good ol’ All Fours position. For every standing Warrior pose, be it I, II or III, I had my injured arm dangling by my side like a clipped wing and during the inversions portion of the class I saddled up for a long session of Legs Up the Wall.
After class I realised that not once did someone give me a judgemental eye, nor did anyone laugh at me and I didn’t feel restless. It was actually the opposite, people smiled at me, I smiled right back and I had that exact feel-good feeling one gets after a Yoga class; a sense of calm, achievement and hope. How did you continue your Yoga practice or exercise regimen when injured? Leave a comment below to share.