In twelve years of Hatha Yoga, I have not had a yoga injury. On one hand, you could say that I have been very lucky, as knowing so many people who have, I have seen how it disrupts your practice, your balance and your whole life. When yoga practice becomes an integral part of your day - and something suddenly calls a halt to that flow - it shakes you up.
I know that myself now, as I have sustained an injury. Not during my yoga practice. I was zip-lining with my kids. I was possibly showing off and trying to impress them with my prowess. I was certainly overestimating my strenth, my youth, my resiliance..and probably several other things...
And yes, I feel rather foolish. I had to cancel my appearance at CamExpo where I was due to give a talk on using Gandha and Essential oils for Mind and Body wellness. It is a wonderful gathering and I had to miss that resulting in major FOMO.
So my wrist was hurt, and my pride, and my teaching...and what about my practice?
When you are used to doing downdog everydamnday - (love that prescriptive tag #yogaeverydamnday) - well, I was like a downdog without a bone.
But my practice had to change and it was probably time (see above conflated view of self). For the past two weeks, I have been mainly practicing pranayama and yoga Nidra. My friend Uma Dinsmore Tuliis is the Goddess of Yoga Nidra and I am so grateful to her for all the work that she is doing and all the resources that she has put in place for us seekers. Also I feel also deeply privilidged and humbled that she uses Yogandha Balance in her Yoga Nidras.
My injury has moved my practice from - probably around 8-10 downdogs per session, to moving deeply inward, and I am loving it. Pranayama (see Yoga Journal's types here - though I use Iygegar's Light on Pranayama book) and Yoga Nidra (see Uma's online learning here) are an incredible combination for deep mind-body wellbeing.
This morning I played around with something new - Nadi Shodhana (alternative nostril breathing) in yoga Nidra without using my hands. Now, Alternate Nostril Breathing involves inhaling through one nostril, and exhaling through the other - and if you had asked two-handed me two weeks ago if I could do it hand-free, I would have said no way! But I tried this morning in Yoga Nidra - and it worked! It was incredibly balancing.
Old downdog. New tricks.
Something that everyone who has ever had a yoga injury (or had an injury who does yoga) says is - it teaches you. That it does. And gratitude is the greatest healer.
Over and Om for now,
ps See our 5 tips to avoid Yoga Injuries during practice below: