Maintaining a Yoga Practice After Injury
By Summer Dien
In April, I had a pretty bad fall off my scooter. The fall left me with deep cuts and scrapes all on the right side of my body. (Thank goodness I didn’t have any broken bones!) It took me two months to heal fully.
Our minds like to make up excuses to not practice, and an injury is just one more such excuse. (‚ÄúI’m tired‚Ä¶I’m sleepy‚Ä¶it’s too early‚Ä¶it’s too late‚Ä¶it hurts‚Ä¶I’m sore,‚ÄĚ etc.)
There are options and just because you’re injured, doesn’t mean that you can’t practice, shouldn’t practice, or don’t need to practice. You can always modify your practice. It might not be like your regular practice, maybe not so “full-on” but you CAN still do it. (For me, my body was craving a yoga practice and every movement with the breath felt so good, even modified.)
Besides, yoga is not about the asana anyway, it’s about the breath, being present, having a positive attitude and doing your best. If you have that intention, then you’re golden!
You can always drop to your knees for chataranga, do a restorative practice, just do Surya Namaskar A (one is better than none), or just sit and breathe. There are so many options available to you. It’s up to you to figure out what works best for your body. Remember, YOU are the expert when it comes to your body, no one knows it better than you. Experiment, do some research, try something new, and see your practice and your body with new eyes!
It is truly a gift to have a yoga practice and then to practice with an injury, it makes you appreciate your body all the more when it’s working properly. My practice is always humbling me and I continue to learn and grow from it.
I always tell myself, PAIN IS INEVITABLE, SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL. Pain is a natural part of life, but suffering is the label we put on the pain. Work through it, gently, patiently, with compassion, and be with the breath. Know that whatever you’re going through, it won’t last forever. Your body wants to heal itself and be in a state of homeostasis. Give it time.
Just roll out your mat and see what happens. Enjoy your practice!
Summer Dien¬†is a teacher at Samahita Retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand.