In 2012, I went into hanumanasana without warming up my body. Our graduating class was preparing for a group pic when someone suggested that I go into a split for the photo op. Without thinking, I went into the pose. Something popped in the Ishial Tuberosity region of my right leg and I had to bend my knee and do a variation of Raja Kapotasana instead.
Embarrassed that I let myself go into a pose mindlessly, I kept the pain that I felt a secret from this group of amazing and supportive people. I could have told them and this would have been a lesson for the whole group but my ego had taken over and I hid. What ended up happening was a tear in the ligament at the origin – that was the POP sound. The doctor said I should take it easy for a few weeks but still try to bring movement to the area as time passes so the range in motion doesn’t decrease and ligament heal tighter. A humbling lesson at the beginning of my career as a yoga instructor.
The excitement of graduating and how well my body responded to yoga made me cocky. Shasta Townsend, my teacher and the director of Balanced Life Yoga in Ajax, guided our group when we graduated and gently reminded us to take things slow. This is tough when you want to make yoga instruction your career. When I graduated, I thought I would immediately have large groups of people to teach and private clients knocking down my door. Instead, I had 1-2 classes per week with less than 5 people in it. With my limited range in motion, I approached instruction from a careful place. This little accident was a blessing in disguise. Had I not taken it easy or if I threw myself into a large group setting, I may have overlooked important alignment cues or postures to help my students connect with a safe practice.
Since then, my leg has healed and I have actually increased my range in motion. For two years, I babied that leg. It wasn’t until I was in India studying at KPJAYI in January 2014 that I was challenged to reconnect with the full range of motion.
Humility & patience have become good friends of mine over the years. Being patient with myself and accepting where I am in my practice helped me heal safely. This is where #patientpractice came from. You might see this hashtag on my posts or in my workshop descriptions.
The lesson: a 200hr yoga teacher certification is but a drop of water in yoga’s ocean of knowledge. Even 2000hrs of teaching doesn’t equate to the abundance of spiritual, physical and emotional yogic knowledge that is out there. We are all on this beautiful wave together! Share your love for yoga with empathy, compassion, and an openness to learn more with a #patientpractice