Insight from Injury
It is safe to say that lately I have been in the wars. It all started a few days after I arrived to Tenerife. I woke up one morning with a bit of tenderness in my lower back/sacral area but didn’t think too much of it. That day I went surfing and had to come back because there was a lot of discomfort in my lower back. Fast forward to the next morning and I could hardly move. Almost all yoga poses were impossible (even sitting cross-legged) and I was terrified. I thought I had damaged a disc so I was of course thinking of the worst case scenario; this injury was going to take a long time to heal.
I pulled out all the stops to fix it. Ginger and turmeric tea for inflammation, hot showers to heat up my muscles and then some energetic therapy by a friend on the island who told me that the problem was in my feet! Miraculously, I woke up the next morning with a tiny bit of tightness in the area, but pretty much healed.
Only one problem though… I also woke up with a sore throat… So for the next few days I was battling what I thought was a cold. But then I started getting insufferable headaches which meant my energy was super low and I was miserable. Then on top of that I got a terrible toothache which eventually went into my jaw… This was the part where I was really fed up. First my back, then a cold and now I have some sort of mouth infection?
Turns out it was sinusitis which was causing the tension in my head and pressure in my teeth. A couple of days later it was gone and I was feeling on top of the world! Of course another week past and next thing I know I am bedridden with a vomiting bug… What kind of bad karma was I getting!!??
I am a terrible patient so I am not going to pretend that while I was suffering from all of these ailments I was my positive, energetic self. Nope. Not at all. When I am sick I mope around like the world has ended and I hate it. But I must admit that being sick always teaches me something.
Let’s start with my back. My movement was severely limited for 24 hours and for the following few days I was very cautious of the way I moved. It brought a whole new awareness into my movements. I started to feel kind of grateful for this injury for allowing me to understand my students more. I have had many students mention back injuries on their registration form but I have never suffered a back injury so I have never understood how lower back pain affects how you feel in different poses. Sure, my teachers have taught me how it feels and which poses to avoid, but I have never truly understood it for myself. How nice is that?
Then the sinusitis and vomiting bug. Well I can’t say that the debilitating headaches that came with both of these illnesses were fun and I can definitely do without getting them again for let’s say… the next 2,000 years. But you can’t deny the appreciation for your health that being ill gives you. The actual illness always sucks but that day when you start to feel better again is a massive HALLELUJAH moment! It’s like the sun shines brighter, people are prettier, flowers are in full bloom… Life is wonderful!
So now I am on a mission to keep this momentum going. I want to do a forward fold and rather than wishing my chest could be flat on my legs, simply thinking ‘hell yeah, how good is it to be able to fold forward?!’. Or opening my eyes in the morning and jumping out of bed because I am just so excited that I have full health to be able to kill this day.
Maybe not every morning, but that’s why they call it practice, right?