Injuries do us good
Sounds counter-intuitive right? Let’s face it, at best injuries are a pain in the ass. They’re expensive, they’re time consuming, they’re frustrating as hell and they limit your ability to do things. At worst, they threaten your health, and perhaps even your life. So what is good about them? What exactly is there to be grateful for?!
I’ve had my fair share of health related problems. Towards the end of my ballet years I suffered from serious back pain, which inevitably convinced me to give it up. When I was running 5 days per week, I got bursitis in both feet and had to have cortisone injections for 2 years. I’ve had stomach issues and intolerances that prevented me from eating food (pretty much all food) for almost 2 years. I’ve had a sustained wrist injury now for around 18 months, and in amongst all of that there have been many other bits and pieces. I’ve experienced a myriad of emotions throughout, from anger and frustration, to sadness, to anxiety and fear, and back to anger again. Only in the last little while I have really started to understand what it is to learn patience, love and gratitude for these issues.
I was in a yoga class recently, and it was absolutely sweltering with heat. The class was seriously tough, the teacher seemingly unforgiving, and it was the busiest timeslot, which meant it was mat to mat. You could see droplets of your neighbours sweat on your own mat, and you knew that 90% of the class had come straight from a full days work in the heat and humidity. Sounds wonderful, right? It would have been too easy to check out. To focus on the heat, the sweat, the smell, the fact that you could be home right now having a cold shower and dinner. Just in that moment, the teacher summed it up very nicely.
To do yoga when the temperature is just right, you’re in beautiful surrounds, and everything is perfect, is too easy. It’s when things go wrong, or are difficult, or challenge you in some way that we learn to grow. This is how we are pushed outside of our comfort zone and learn to really be present in the moment. Yoga is not about being picture perfect. It’s about learning to breath when things are tough. Its about taking a step back when needed, rather than constantly pushing through. To love all of yourself, no matter what, and to be grateful for the opportunities that are presented to us.
In that moment, when my thighs were shaking and quaking, sweat was pouring off my forehead and I was tempted to run out of the room, that it all made sense. Through my injuries and health issues, I have become so much stronger. I have learnt how to be brave, to be patient, to take a step back and really listen to my body and understand what it’s trying to tell me. Every injury or health related issue is the body’s way of communicating to us. Slow down, take stock! Take a breath. Be present. Listen.
And with kindness and love, and if we let it, the body will heal itself.