Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Injured Yoga

I shattered my wrist a couple of months ago after my car flipped me off the road while on my way back to St. Augustine from home in Georgia. And, the first question I asked my surgeon when I was coherent enough was, "Will I be able to do yoga?" He looked skeptical, and my heart sank. But luckily, most doctors are remotely fit an he was definitely in good shape, and understanding of the importance of my question. Obviously yoga is not all about "Being fit" but I feel like most people who are in good shape are more in tune with their bodies than those who are, well... not so in shape.

He told me I could ease back into it, which meant absolutely no wheels (backbends), which are my favorite. I do them every night before I go to sleep. And, no downward dogs, the stereotypical, but most-used yoga pose in the book. Basically, none of my weight could go on my wrists. How in the world am I going to be able to practice without freaking out, I thought?

But I did. After about a week away from any physical activity (that's like a wish for insanity in my book), I was back at it. I went to a yoga class everyday and just told myself I would do what I could do that way, and listen to exactly what my body is telling me. Yoga helped me immensely (surprise, surprise) with letting go of the emotional aftermath of the accident that was gnawing at me everyday. It made me realize that even if I am not in my full expression of a pose (instead, I did downward dogs and planks on my elbows), I could still reap the same benefits that I always have. It taught me that yoga doesn't have to be perfect. I don't have to be pushed beyond my max. I just need to listen to my body and  follow suit.

I am writing about this today, because it is the end of March- and YAY! This is when my doctor told me that downward dog would be safe again. So, a couple of days ago, I gave it a try. I pushed my palms firmly into the mat and raised my hips up to the sky. It felt new, almost, and my muscles were tight, because, well they had been on vacation from this pose. But it made me smile. I am so glad I never tried to push myself further than my body needed me to go. It just needed time to heal and that's why bodies are such an amazing thing. If we treat them well and respect them the best we can, they will be there for us, too.


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