Patience: the companion of wisdom

Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears. Barbara Johnson

As I warmed up to teach yoga today, I felt slightly hyped up and a need to release stuck energy. I played Fiona Apple in the background. Generally I practice and teach with no atmospheric music. Therefore listening to fiery Fiona as a warm up probably acclerated me to high gear too quickly. I flowed through some quick sun salutations, a pincha mayurasana (forearm stand), prep for handstand, and I felt warmed up for sirsasana (headstand). Perhaps I got a little too excited, because as I positioned myself into headstand something went wrong. I cared more about getting my feet in the air, than the transition into it. I felt the moment when too much pressure was placed at the top of my head instead of the majority that should be on my forearms. Yoga injury in the making. Automatically, It limited the range of movement in my neck.

I am a yoga teacher, I should know better. But I am still human, and got ahead of myself.

Because I am a yoga teacher, I am not free from injuries. They still occur. Perhaps there is a greater awareness at the moment it happens. I knew right then, this was bad and to slowly transition out of the pose.

I have the knowledge of how I can prevent or deter this, as I encourage my students to take it slowly. St. Augustine once said that “patience is the companion of wisdom.” Today I was lacking that wisdom.

I take responsibility for my injury, but I blame it on feeling rushed. There were little things that were exciting me. My car has been fixed after a week of being in the shop. My Cambridge Satchel purse has been mended after three weeks of being sent away. My energy is returning after having a weekend off. But today I needed to slow it down.

Errors, injuries, and missteps occur when we are impatient. Injuries serve as a reminder to our bodies that we must transition with intention. Each minuscule movement is felt with every turn of my neck.

This is the second time I have done this in a headstand, although it has been several years. This neck tweak is also a reminder that I need to allow myself the privilege to slow down and take care of myself. I have been on the go for weeks, serving others. Perhaps it is time to go inward. Self soothe. Reach out for help. A trip to the acupuncturist is most likely in my near future. Physical ailments are our bodies way of talking to us that we need to decrease the pace of our lives.

Injuries also heighten my awareness of other people’s physical limitations. My empathic radar is on high beam. When people’s faces may grimace in my classes from a slight movement, I am there. It serves as a reminder how to honor where our bodies are at today.

It may be helpful for you to take some reflection time after your next injury, however big or small. What are the lessons I can take from this? How can I hold compassion for others at this time? How can I offer compassion and love to myself ? Breathe in the opportunity and space that has been made available for you to slow down.

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. Leo Tolstoy

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sadiewolf2014
    Aug 24, 2018 @ 11:57:41

    I hope you get better soon.


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