On the 7th day of our yoga teacher training, during an extra yoga asana workshop, I made an unfortunate move and sprained my knee. What exactly happened I don’t know, but I still cannot do asanas (poses). While initially causing a pile of frustration and sadness, in the course of the next few days it helped me tolearn some valuable lessons.
Lesson 1 When I told Manjeet (our Yoga Philosophy teacher) that I could not do yoga with my injured knee, he immediately corrected me by saying: “You mean you can’t do asanas at this moment”. Yoga is so much more than only the asanas, and this teacher training shows this in so many ways. It helped me realizing that I am still learning loads, even though I am physically not able to do the asanas. Manjeet brought me back to the here and now, focusing on what I can do (which is a lot!).
Lesson 2 The second lessons my knee taught is letting go of comparing yourself with others in a way that triggers self-judgment. I see my fellow students progressing in their physical practice, becoming stronger and being able to bend their bodies further each day. This can make me sad because I see that my practice is faltering, and I am probably getting less strong and flexible. I need to remind myself that I am participating in this month of teacher training to develop myself and my skills further, it does not matter if my fellow students perform better or worse. I am here to learn, to grow, to create new opportunities, to integrate yoga and maybe teaching in my life. Whether I am strong and flexible now or not, does not change what I can do with it in the future.
Lesson 3 The final lesson is one that I have to learn over and over again in my life: accept your body as it is, and listen to it. How to find out whether you really accept your body? Ask yourself this: If my body will always be the way as it is now, can I accept this? For me this means accepting that my knee will always be sprained, and truly believing that I still can have a fun, lovingly and pleasant life Accepting this does not mean you don’t try to heal yourself and work towards recovery, but it means that you love yourself and your body as it is now in this present moment, and that you take care of it.– which is probably the best basis for healing anyway. It means to let go of expectations that this situation will change in the (near) future, and to make the best of it now, in this present moment. Otherwise every day of non-recovery will be a new disappointment, making you sad and depressed, instead of treating your body with love and kindness. This is not an easy thing to do! But if you manage to do so, life will bring you much more happiness and relaxation.
This week was quite heavy, but at the same time, I am happy to have learned these lessons. May it not be physically, at least I have grown a bit mentally, emotionally, and who knows, maybe even spiritually. I Still hope my knee will get better in the next few days, but even if it will not, I will stay positive, and keep on learning and exploring myself further through all the things I learn here at Parimukti.
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