Working with an Injury

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Kaitlyn McConnell

Kaitlyn McConnell

An instructor of mine once told me that injuries can be your best teachers. I try to remember this each time I come into any sort of injury or illness that keeps me from my usual practice. This past week has been just such a week, somehow I can’t put any weight on my left ankle
without feeling a shooting pain in my foot. I don’t know how I did it, probably the mountain climbing in sandals that I had a great time doing over New Years. Regardless of the cause it has limited my physical practice, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. My movements have been much more mindful and I have been forced to be completely honest with myself and what my body is capable of right now.

On another level, because I am doing less physical work I can shift my focus to my breath and the thoughts that arise while I practice. Sure there have been moments of frustration as I work to find a modification for a pose that I could move into with ease last week but mostly there is the same sense of quiet and calm that I feel when my practice is feeling physically strong.

So really, does it matter that my poses are a bit different? We all have days when our practice needs to be changed a bit to work for us, it does not mean we are weak or bad yogis or are somehow not doing our practice ‘right’. I always tell my students it is an indicator of being a more advanced yogi when we give our bodies what we need even if that means backing off and not doing as much. It is time for me take a bit of my own advice.

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