I spent 2 weeks in a very intensive AcroYoga Teacher Training. It was an amazing experience of waking up with the sun, an asana practice, a filling breakfast, followed by training for 3 hours, an amazing lunch, practicing and teaching for a few hours, a delicious dinner, more education and then falling asleep under the stars completely exhausted and very satisfied. On the last day of training, I felt an ache developing in my left shoulder. Realizing that the many days of training had probably taken its toll, I backed off and rested and allowed the shoulder to heal. Two months later, the shoulder had not healed. I have spent the last 2 months, trying to respect my body and resist the urge to return to my physical practice. It has not been easy, the temptation to return has been strong, but I want to give my body a chance to heal. Finally, I have been given a diagnosis of the problem and so now I have a prescription to follow. With that prescription, I have an understanding of the problem and I know what to avoid and what I can do. While a herniated disk may sound horrible, I know what activities aggrevate the condition and what I can do to help heal it. And so, I return to my practice, carefully.
The first day back, my yoga instructor teaches a jump from downdog to forward fold (Adho Mukha Svanasana to Uttanasana). When I land, I am shocked because I realize that I paused at the top of jump and floated down to the forward fold. I had never held that hover and have never been able to control my body's drop down to the forward fold. Assuming it was an aberration, the next time around I watch as my body goes through the motion again. And again, I pause at the apex of the transition and my feet slowly float to the ground. Before my injury, I had been working consistently on handstands and also on the transition from handstand to crow which require much of the same muscular control. While I can hold a handstand, I have trouble maintaining it for long periods of time and I have never been able to control the handstand to crow. Suddenly, and with no real progression to it, I have discovered the float. Excited at my success that I did not know was in me, I am given the opportunity to practice the float 2 more times. Two more times, I succeed. Then, the teacher steps the intensity up a notch by offering a downdog to crow option. Excited and nervous, I try it. I fall. But, I control the jump! I try again, and I stick it!!! I try again, and I stick it again! I feel both amazed and baffled. How did I do it? I try one more time, attempting to understand what is happening in my body, but the only thing I really understand is that a transition that has eluded me for a long time now feels almost effortless.
Feeling both elated and confused I sit back and analyze. I practice consistently and I enjoy working on harder poses. Most poses progress slowly but with consistent practice, they evolve and eventually I succeed. For some reason, after taking a very long break, this transition that has always been a challenge, suddenly becomes one of the tools in my toolkit. What changed? I took a break. Yes, hard work and perseverance is the key. But, sometimes, what we need most is to step away and do nothing. Not work on a different pose, not try a different activity. But, do nothing. Sometimes, we need to stay strong and stay focused and sometimes it is better to be soft and watch the clouds drift by overhead.
DIRECTIONS:IF YOU ANSWER YES TO 9 OUT OF 10 QUESTIONS YOU MAY CONSIDER YOURSELF A YOGA FANATIC!
Boundless Yoga Staff & Students
We are continuously interested on how our reactions and responses to our personal journeys, albeit travel, adventure, new job, etc. mirror and reflect our social, emotional and spiritual ups and downs. We try every day to apply what we learn about ourselves on the yoga mat to our personal lives. Thank you for tuning in as we share some of those aspects with you.