How my Shoulder Injury Changed my Yoga Practice

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The little adventurer that I am got injured while playing in the trees, zip-lining more specifically, a year ago. Since then, I learned about patience and had to adjust my yoga practice. I felt very frustrated and angry that my shoulder was in pain which meant I had to stop practicing a lot of the asanas (postures) I used to love. And also not very practical when you teach yoga.  It took a long time to heal and it's been almost a year and I still can feel the consequences of that injury.

One thing I wasn't expecting is that it deepened my home yoga practice. I couldn't go to my favourite yoga classes anymore. I had a home practice but I wasn't very consistent and would find more joy in going to my teacher. I liked the vibe and energy of practicing in a group. Until I had to do rely on my own. Before the accident, I used to feel guilty as a new teacher not to have a very strong personal practice. Since I've let go of the limits caused by my shoulder's injury, let go of what a yoga teacher should look like and should be doing, I actually created space for what felt good to me. To find my way on the mat, my flow and vibe. And for the past 6 months I've been practicing yoga pretty much everyday- on and off the mat. I had to adjust my practice as I couldn't do chaturanga's, arm balances or inversions. So I came back to the basics. More yin, more hip openers. And the beauty of it, is that the more you step on your mat, the more you want to go back. It's like that with a lot of things in life. The moment you let go of resistance, the monkey mind, the should's and step into a space that is more accepting and flowing, you find your sweet spot. Now when I miss one or two days, I feel my body asking for it. I do some asanas while working, taking breaks and stretching. And downward dog at the end of the day has never felt as good.

I had to practice beginner's mind- an approach often mentioned in yoga. Shifting my perspective with an open mind. I'm slowly finding more freedom and openness in my shoulder and have been practicing more advanced asanas. At first, it felt challenging as I had to start from the beginning which reminded me of the first days of my yoga practice where it was all new. It gave me space to see things with new eyes again, to put myself in my students shoes. It brought me much more awareness to the beginning of someone's yoga practice. It also redirected me to other postures, to enjoy a different practice.

 

I connected and surrendered to my body on a whole new level.

 

 

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So as I am still healing my shoulder, I embrace the place where I am now and where I've been. The body sometimes need a long time to heal and recover. Sometimes accidents happen for you to see things and act differently, to shift your perspective and learn lessons. In that way, the accident or situation is not lost in the pain and limitations, but the treasure we discover along the journey open us up to a different kind of beauty, a different kind of practice and understanding that bring growth and acceptance.