Recently, I joined this- we’ll call it a movement- called 21.5.800, started by Bindu Wiles. I first heard of Bindu from my friend Kate Northrup via her newsletter and her new project called Glimpse TV. I was inspired to take on the project because, even though I have the intention, my commitment to writing my blog has been lagging and my personal yoga practice needs a little firing up.
By committing to 21.5.800, I promise that for 21 days, I practice yoga 5 times a week (or savasana), and write 800 words a day. Here we go. 800 words a day and 5 days a week of yoga. So far so good.
A few months ago, I fell down and sprained my wrist. I really wish I had a good story to tell about how it happened, but I literally slipped on trash at 8 am on my way to meeting a client. I got up, shook it off, and went about my day only to have throbbing pain later in the day. My hope was that the sprain would heal in a week or so, and I could get back to my practice as usual. No such luck- this sprain has turned into my nemesis. It’s been 2-ish months- my wrist still hurts.
In this process, I have been humbled. My ego keeps telling me you can do this, my wrist continues to remind me that that is not the case.
I have been practicing yoga for the past 15 years. I love my physical practice and one of the things that has evolved for me over the years was a process of internal investigation and growth. If you are truly practicing, this is just a natural evolution- especially when we are faced with challenges and changes in our lives. So here I am, faced with this huge roadblock- a sprained wrist- and the challenge of trying to keep my practice of chattarangas, wheel poses, arm balances and upward facing dogs. I had just started taking flight school with Ragunath working on my hand standing practice- which was completely stifled by the sprain. So where does this leave me? I am so used to teaching arm balances and other advanced poses, and now I can’t even practice them? I feel lost.
So the struggle continued. What was a girl to do- stop practicing? start a new form of movement like running? (I tried that for 5 seconds and while I am not opposed to keep trying- its not something sustainable for me) take up dance? (maybe)… I am one of those people who does not feel whole without my practice. I can’t just stop. So the answer for me was to change my approach to the practice. My athletic form of the practice with 50 – 70 chattarangas was just not going to happen. So how do I make this work for me?
The process was frustrating- I am not going to lie. My mind told me I could do the things that would send shooting pain up my arm. I would be teaching a class and people weren’t “getting” the verbal instruction and I would try to show them- shooting pain. My mind was thinking- “OMG, is this ever going to heal? Maybe its broken? Am I ever going to be able to practice again? How can I be complete without my yoga practice” ….and the thoughts continue. On the verge of tears on many occasions, out of frustration and out of pain, my answer became- you must change the way you practice and the way you look at your practice. Here was an opportunity to work on shapes that maybe are not my favorite or that I don’t take the time to explore because it won’t fit into my regular routine. Maybe this is a opportunity to work on other things like pranayama and my meditation practice.
I found that the physical struggle I was having with my wrist, started to manifest into my heart and my emotions, flaring up in other areas of my life. Frustration with loved ones, panic about my future, and a deep introspection about my health. Once I surrendered to it, my practice started to evolve and unfold. I truly started to listen to my internal guide, listening to my breath and using my breath to work through the struggles I was experiencing. Then the transformation starts to happen- aha moments everywhere. My frustrations turned into a deep compassion and sense of gratitude for the people in my life. My panic about my future was a clear reminder that I needed to focus on being more present and enjoy what was sitting right in front of me. My worries about my health were just a fleeting scary moment that has resolved on its own, making me appreciate my strong body and my internal vibrance even more.
I practiced my first “flat- palmed” chattaranga yesterday. It was such an exciting moment! It’s been 2 months since I have had the opportunity to practice this pose. That is just what it was, an opportunity to experience it like it was the first time. My wrist is not completely healed- upward dog makes me want to wince and probably no handstand for awhile- but I am truly grateful for the experience this injury has given me. My appreciation and gratitude for my health and injury free (soon) body is what keeps me going every day!
To sign up for 21.5.800 visit binduwiles.com