Using Yoga to Heal

Photo by Michele Venne

I’ve mentioned before that most yoga happens off the mat, out in the real world. Due to an accident, I’m given the opportunity to practice more yoga during my recovery. I can’t attend a yoga class at this time. In fact, much of my daily routine is interrupted. I’ve slowly (too slowly for my tastes!) worked my way back, but I’m not 100%. So, I get to practice acceptance:

1) at this moment, this is how my body feels. I can accept it, do what I can to make it comfortable, help it to heal, but no amount of fussing or woe will change that this is how things are…for now. And if I fuss and woe myself and my situation, it changes nothing of what is. But now I have the situation AND the fuss and woe!

2) that I’m limited in my daily routines and what I’m used to being able to do…for now. Four weeks after the incident and it’s easier sitting in my car, bending over to pick something up off the ground, and the seemingly routine movement of going to bed. But driving still isn’t comfortable, I’m a long way from performing most yoga poses, and sleeping in one position isn’t easy. So, as I’ve practiced flexibility in my routines before, Life has invited me to find alternate ways to do these tasks we often complete with little to no thought. 

3) as someone who always seemed to heal quickly, even my hand injuries took over a week to get to the point where I didn’t have to change band-aides a couple of times a day. I’ve had to learn how to get in and out of the car differently…for now. I’ve learned that I can’t sit on couches or in booths in a restaurant…for now. I’ve paid attention to how long it has taken me to stop limping, and then I pay more attention if someone mentions that I am. 

Without my prior yoga experience and understanding how to use the tools and techniques of this practice, my recovery would be severely impacted. Not only would I have the injuries to deal with, but the unhelpful thoughts about the injuries. The changes in routine and figuring out how to do simple tasks differently would be an excuse to complain, which serves no purpose other than to perpetuate the fuss and woe. Accepting how things are, surrendering to the temporary changes, and adapting/adjusting to give myself time to heal make this incident not as huge as it might be. I will admit that I look forward to returning to good health, and the new beginning it marks.