THE SURRENDER EXPERIMENT
This year has been a big year. I left my old career to dedicate myself full-time to yoga teaching and The Wellness Project. It’s been exciting, eventful, challenging and so rewarding. But it hasn’t always been rosy.
This year my body has been put through it’s paces through a number of small injuries. Nothing major and I’m not moaning about it at all – I can still walk, run, practice yoga and live a normal life. However, as a yoga teacher and dedicated practitioner it most certainly has got me down. Feeling limited by my own body has been difficult to say the least.
Recently, just as my body was starting to heal I sustained another minor injury. After taking off 4 days from yoga I went back to practice only to realise this new injury was much worse than I had realised. I spent most of the practice modifying and skipping out poses to the point where I was fighting back tears. My favourite motto ‘it’s only a problem if you object to it’ was really testing me that morning. It was a problem, I was objecting to it.
It got me thinking and questioning … why am I creating a problem out of this? Why was I crying? Why am I so attached to the asana, to the poses? Isn’t my yoga practice everywhere, in every moment of my day? Isn’t it so much more than the shapes – there is the breath, the way it creates space for me to let go and be me, to feel alive and connected. The lessons that I take off my mat – isn’t that what yoga is about? Ahh… the lessons. Light-bulb moment.
It had become apparent to me that our idea of who we are, how we live our lives, the way we react, respond, participate, think, feel be… it’s all challenged when someone challenging happens. There is a saying in arabic that basically implies that you don’t really know a person until you scratch the surface. Well, my surface has been scratched – scraped and cut-up. And, I was starting to realise that if I want to live my life the way I ‘talk’ about it, well then these injuries were here to test my resolve.
That test came about when my teacher advised me to take a few weeks off. “Go home” she said. “Set-up your yoga space with candles and soft light and every morning move your body as it asks you, not as you think it should. Forget about the (ashtanga) sequence. Just move in a way that feels right”. Wise, wise words. And ones I’m sure I’ve given to my students before. It’s funny how we don’t heed our own advice…
And that’s where I have been for the last few weeks. At home. I didn’t get up, dress and drive straight to yoga. I rolled out of bed, meditated, drank tea, and then rolled out my mat. I dimmed the lights and I moved. No, in fact, I breathed through my life.
I let my breath guide me and then I did whatever I felt like. Sometimes that was a long, long sirsasana (headstand). Other times a few gentle salutes and standing poses. Mostly I went back to my iyengar days and propped, bolstered and cushioned myself. I held restorative poses forever and moved deeper into dynamic postures without the intensity.
What did I discover? My life didn’t fall apart because I didn’t go to yoga. My body, although it craved the deep opening and release it is normally used to, thanked me for pulling back. I also gained time – not doing a 2-hour practice really gave me the chance to do so many other things I normally don’t have the time for.
The biggest lesson? My attitude towards my injuries are slowly changing. Instead of seeing them as a barricade to my practice and progression I’m seeing them more as a very loud and clear message about something deeper, energetically, happening within me.
Which led me to a journey of experimentation with deep energetic healing. I realised during my time ‘off’ that I was (still am) dealing with some emotional blocks.
What’s a girl to do when green juice is not the answer? (I know, shock! horror!) Well, I booked into Reiki, Acupuncture, Kinesiology and Massage sessions (yep, it was an expensive few weeks!). Something was telling me I needed to use this time to tap into my body and move through its deeper layers.
I discovered alot. But really, I already knew it, I just wasn’t hearing it clearly.
Over the next coming posts I’m going to share information with you on kinesiology, acupuncture and reiki… because holistic wellness is just as much about your energy as it is your body, breath, nutrition and lifestyle.
I would love to hear your experiences with these healing modalities, or your thoughts on them even if you haven’t
Saha to you,
* image: http://piccsy.com/2012/04/picc-abhqd2xs8/