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Mar 28, 2019
By Guest Blogger: Anna Du Chesne
Nine years ago, I was walking along the roadside in a small rural South Indian town. It was 5.30am and I had arranged to meet up with friends for an early morning walk around a sacred mountain. It was a morning like any other, I had slept badly, tossing and turning through the night. Leaving my room, I had to return as I had forgotten a note I wanted to share with my friend.
I had just celebrated a significant birthday, but I was unhappy, feeling disconnected and alone. I yearned for connection and love, believing that these would pull me out of my sadness.
That morning my life changed. Coming out of my room, walking out onto the road, I heard a loud rattling, and half asleep, I turned to see what it was. At that moment, I was hit by a large truck; the driver losing control, flying over the newly installed speed bumps.
Anna wears Havana print pieces
The trauma that followed was intense – there were physical pain and deep shock. In the weeks before the accident, the core of my experience had been one of separation and living through the belief that I was not enough. But over the next few months, I came to understand that the accident had been a gift, as I was shown the love that was available to me, that had always been available to me. I have been practicing yoga asana and meditation for the past 20 years. It is this deep enduring practice that gave me the strength to find the resilience to see the beauty of this trauma. It was not always easy. It took me many months to learn how to walk again. However, slowly I found my rhythm. Before the accident, I’d lived life in a hurry – always pushing for more.
Part of my healing has been to reconnect with my body. I knew that yoga would be the best medicine for my healing. Having had a regular Ashtanga yoga practice, I felt overwhelmed by the memory of how I used to practice. I was afraid that I would never be able to “do what I had once done”. I was fixed on an ideal, forgetting that a yoga practice is fluid and changeable. Standing at the front of my mat, I had to meet myself – both my real, and my self-imposed limitations, all over again.
At first, I was demoralized, falling back into the trap of still wanting things to be different and feeling that perhaps this was not for me anymore. I am so grateful to my teachers’ and the other yoga practitioners’ encouragement - their joy at my attempts was like a salve.
Anna wears Havana print pieces
Today, I practice with the joy of feeling the connection between my body, my mind, and my heart. I have let go of the desire for advancement – I am in this for the long haul and have no need to move quickly through advanced series, “mastering” advanced postures. The practice of effortless effort, finding softness in adversity and humor in my attempts, stand firmly side by side my strength of will. I have come to love my body, its strength, its softness and its limitations as I never had before.
About the Author:
Anna Du Chesne is a yoga practioner for 20 years. She survived being hit by a truck, which made her a below-knee amputee, nine years ago. Follow her on Instagram!
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