It’s easy to be active, cheerful and alive when everything is going well. Everything changes when a big boom comes and ruins our perfect world.
Yoga is my number one. Last year I had to face a serious lower back injury. Hysteria was my first reaction, it was an epic one – you can’t imagine how many hours I spent crying and complaining. It took some time until I realized that it doesn’t help at all. They say lessons in life will be repeated until they are learned. I guess I’m a slow learner, but what I’ve learned is mine. And that’s the point – to develop from injury and to learn from it.
What I found out after my injury, which I would have never done if such a thing hadn’t happened, was an affection to my own physical body, and improvement of its abilities. I thought I had my ego on a leash, my bad! In fact, the ego had me.
I couldn’t stand that I won’t be able to do kurmasana and other deep forward folds! From all the asanas, I saw only these few which I wasn’t able to do. I was scared before my Yoga practice and frustrated when I saw my mat mates in unachievable for my poses. I thought that I’m the only one injured, and life is so unfair. I felt like a victim of the universe.
After months of fooling myself, I finally accepted “the fate” and I focused on improvement on other areas that’s when I found peace. Perception changes point of view, and when you’re the one directly affected, it may look scarier than it really is! Same with the grass, always greener on the other side, right?
The truth is that everyone has injuries. And no matter what is your discipline the more you practice, the more you’re exposed to them. So when the damage happened already, it’s better to rest and take it easy. Trust me, I’ve been there. The right thing to do is to accept. Stop wishing and complaining, but start thinking and acting. One step backward, but always two forward.
Always look at the bright side
Even if your injury stops you from practice, there’s always something you can work on! Always! It can be mind, it can be the body, it can be both! The level of injury dictates your strategy. Sometimes we need just 3 days of rest, but imagine a more severe scenario – let’s say you have a seriously overstretched hamstring muscle, and for the next few weeks you won’t be able to use your leg fully. What can you do? Of course, you should exercise it, just don’t go too hard! Shorten the reach gentle stretch and putting less weight will keep your limb “in shape” without causing a trauma, which a regular workout will do. Obviously, my answer is always Yoga! A well-designed Yoga sequence can help you not only in a healing process but also in a strength and flexibility improvement in neglected muscles. Movement combined with breath flow is also a great form of meditation.
But what when the worst case scenario takes a place? Torn ligaments, slipped discs, broken bones – unfortunately these happen too.
Well, we can face everything that happens to us. If we cannot, then we die. It’s not that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger – don’t get me wrong! However, I’m sure that whatever made you weaker, cannot impact your entire life!
Injuries exhibit the sides of ourselves we often are not aware of! It may sound ridiculous, but even in the worst nightmare, an opportunity presents itself! On the way of retaking what was taken, we can improve mental skills – practice branches of Yoga such as meditation, pranayama and karma yoga. Work on patience and focus on things for which we had no time before. Learn languages, read great books and deepen the understanding of ourselves. Focusing on how we feel and being fully engaged into the process.
Extract 100% from each and every moment. Find a source of happiness in small things and in everyday effort put into recovery. Show the courage and use this tough time for self-improvement, make yourself a better person!
Really focus on the meditation please yourself and buy some nice candles, energy purifying herbs, cushions, or whatever makes you happy. Make your ritual super mystical!
We all love to be needed and helpful, so take your friends and family support with arms wide open! And, even though the one who’s in need is you, you can still help the others. There’s always something you can do, maybe call someone who is lonely? Let nature impress you – go and watch the sunset, feel the smell of rain, plant tomatoes! Do some art in the meantime and share it with others. Spread your positivity and it will run back to you with a double speed – your recovery will be either nicer, and faster!
Start as fast as you can. Don’t wait until tomorrow comes, because it’s a waste of today.
One of my students wasn’t able to meditate by himself, so he scheduled an online appointment – we were practicing guided meditation via Skype. Right now he’s 100% healthy and got back into his training routine. But what hasn’t changed is the habit of the meditation – we still “meet” at least twice a week! He discovered that the peace of mind which meditation brings enabled him to be a better athlete.
Each tragedy can turn into something beneficial. Just be open-minded and never give up!
About the Author
Klaudia was born and raised in Poland. After she graduated from my University and worked for several years, she moved to the US to improve her skills and teach Yoga world’s best BJJ and MMA fighters. Today she is a fully involved yogini, active athlete, Vinyasa, Hatha and Yin Yoga teacher, experienced trainer, scuba diver, traveler and enthusiastic girl doing what she loves. She's also the founder of Plus Performance Yoga. Find her on Instagram.