Sometimes it seems that injuries come out of nowhere. You’re biking and fall, you pull a hamstring doing something seemingly low-key, or you break an arm on a trampoline. Simply put, injuries are no fun and often throw us off guard. Whether they’re long-standing injuries, or something more acute, injuries are incredibly hard to cope with. Especially if you’re an active person, who regularly uses your body for rigorous exercises, physical exertion is a part of your job, or you like to perform the fullest expression of yoga poses.
You Are Not Your Injury
It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the negative emotions that are coupled with injuries. You may be feeling down, have increased anxiety, feel thrown off, or experiencing turmoil. Perhaps you’re upset with yourself for not being able to do all of the things you used to do in the past. Although you have every right to feel these emotions, it’s important to gain some distance and perspective. You may HAVE an injury but are NOT an injury. There are many other amazing qualities and things happening in your life.
Prioritize Self-Care & Self-Advocation
We’re not just talking bath bombs and facemasks here. Although that absolutely could be part of it, you must take care of yourself and do the necessary things that will help your health and aid in rehabilitating your injury. Perhaps this means that you don’t partake in any activities that may cause you further damage and hinder the healing process. Also, seeking out the right medical attention and expressing your needs may help you feel better. Sometimes a plan of action is helpful as well!
Although it might be easy to dwell on the negative effects of your injury, perhaps you start to reframe the situation. Instead of focusing on everything that you can’t do at the moment, maybe you sit down and make a list of things that you can still do. By seeing a tangible representation of things that you can still accomplish, it may ease some of the turmoil you’re feeling. This can include things both on and off the mat.
Adapt Your Practice to Fit You
In terms of on the mat, when taking a yoga class where you normally would able do every pose full out, maybe you make some changes (or ask the teacher to provide modifications at the beginning of class) so the pose that can accommodate you. Or maybe instead of taking a more heating building Vinyasa class, you try a Restorative class. You’ll still be able to experience some of the same benefits, and perhaps you’ll gain a new love and understanding for yoga that you didn’t have before. It’s easy to get hung up on what we used to be able to do, and it may cause a little bruise to the ego. However, if you get the okay from a medical professional, I suggest that you continue practicing yoga in your way.
Remember, yoga comes in many shapes and forms. There is no perfect way to practice. Injuries may feel like a huge hindrance on and off the mat, but perhaps they can be seen as a teaching tool. For when you get better, you’re better able to appreciate and honor your body for all it does.You're better able to recognize your resiliency, and adoration towards your body's innate healing process.