Yoga: Hurts or Heals?

Happy birthday to all those lucky people born today friday the 13th!  Lucky indeed… or more like grateful we all get to live another day.

This is what my yoga practice has helped to cultivate… a sense of gratitude, simplicity, happiness, and healing.

I’m sure you’ve recently read about the yoga bashing, How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body, and the voice of advocates on  how to avoid injuries during yoga.  I really didn’t want to jump in on this conversation, but since the article shines light on how a yoga posture can wreck your body, I’m prompted to re-ask a question that came up for me last year while in a class with Bryan Kest… “why do you practice a yoga posture and more importantly how does practicing a yoga posture contribute to the world? how does it make you a better person?”  

Have I gotten injured while doing a yoga pose?  Yes.  Have I gotten injured while participating in another activity or sport?  Yes.  Have I gotten injured from simply bending over to pick up something on the floor?  Yes.  The point is, the possibility of getting injured doing anything is highly likely.  This isn’t the only point.  Perhaps a better question is why do we go to the point of injury during yoga or whatever sport we’re doing?

While it’s only day 13 of the handstand challenge, I’m feeling great and confident.  I can see the progress I’ve made in such a short amount of time.  I can see the progress my students have made.  I can also hear the voice in my head get more confident arrogant.   The voice celebrates every time I reach a milestone… every time I land a handstand.  It chuckles.  It grins.  It wants more… not tomorrow, but “do it again, right now.”  It doesn’t hear my shoulders crying with fatigue.  “Just one more,” the voice says.

Hmmm… the Voice who often goes by the name, Ego.  We know all this voice and how it’s capable of bullying us around.  Can you say, “INJURY?”  Enough said.

The first time I got injured, I was able to distinguish that voice in my head from the voice in my body.  In that moment, I learned how yoga can hurt but it also can heal. 

My practice has healed me physically.  Made my body stronger.  Straightened my posture.  Lengthened my spine.  Expanded my lung capacity.

It has healed me mentally.  Took me out of my head.  Out of the sickening, self destructing negative thought patterns and outbursts of irresponsible outbursts and reactions. 

It has healed me spiritually.  It gave me a way to connect to my spirit. To connect with others.  To see that we are all one in the same.  To see that I am an infinite light full of love. 

Hmmm… what a great side effect of practicing some yoga postures.. some often very odd looking. 

Here’s to handstands this year:

Making progress everyday and one day I will be able to just lift up.. ok that was my ego voice talking, but not at the expense of an injury.  This challenge has brought together so many new friends, inspiration, motivation, and a sense of healing in our own ways.

I’m grateful for another day to be able to practice my handstands.  Lucky day indeed!

6 thoughts on “Yoga: Hurts or Heals?

  1. Loved this post! I’ve enjoyed the videos also. I am working on my handstand!
    My boyfriend came over yesterday and said that people were talking about that article about yoga being bad for you at work. I emailed it to him. I’ll read it tonight. I love my yoga practice and am beginning to crave being on my mat every day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *