Touching My Toes
“Just had my first yoga class since I broke my foot, May 5th, and it felt Amazing!!! Love being back and so thankful for my Physical Therapist right now…”
This was my Facebook post two weeks ago after my class with Jean at Sangha Space. When I post on Facebook, it’s only for significant events in my life; this was one of them. The moment you can finally do what your body and soul have been yearning, truly is momentous and worth posting about.
I started practicing yoga about 15 years ago, but it has only been in the last five years that I have been dedicated to it and the last two years that I have actually needed it. Yoga has become a part of my daily routine, but more importantly, yoga is a part of me. It’s the only thing that can calm me, rejuvenate me, enlighten me, strengthen me, gratify me, and teach me -all at the same time. In college, I started yoga for fitness reasons but now my practice is to create a sound body and sound mind connection.
In life, I believe we have a choice to respond to each situation in either a positive or negative way, thus creating an authentic experience. I also think when challenging events happen to us, it is an opportunity to stop, refocus, and begin to look within ourselves to see how we can grow. Hopefully these experiences make us stronger- no matter how taxing it may be.
When I broke my foot, I focused on how I can learn from this circumstance. I tried to be optimistic and think positive thoughts, “well, it could always be worse”, “at least I can drive”, “at least I don’t need surgery” “at least it’s not the middle of summer”. Positive thinking can be very valuable, but I did have moments of frustration, which often lead to tears, but did always lead me back to positive thinking. After a week, I looked into ways to deal with my limited mobility and incorporate yoga back into my life. I found a YouTube video of “sun salutations with a broken foot”, which brought me excitement and gratitude. Being able to start my days how I once did, with sun salutations, brought me much joy. I also started mediating again, which helped me find solace after work, and allowed me to “just be” with nature. I began practicing Chair Yoga, and found stretches to keep my body flexible, but it was the feeling of joy and accomplishment after each stretch that I most appreciated.
It was during Jean’s class though that I understood my lesson. I was reminded of how much I needed yoga, and was so thankful to be back in a class. Along with my joy and peace, yoga gave me a new feeling: pride. I was so proud that I was able to complete the session without pain; proud of doing a downward dog without fear of bending my foot. I was proud of overcoming, not only the injury, but other challenging events that have occurred this year. Proud that I was able to believe in myself enough and take a step to become a yoga intern.
Pride was not something I usually associated with yoga, but now it is. I believe individuals do not allow themselves to feel pride as much as they should; I never did. For me, however, I realized being proud of yourself leads to joy which leads to gratitude. After that first session, I not only felt like “me” again, but I felt whole and was thankful for the gift of yoga. The adage “we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone” took on a new meaning for me. Being able to experience what was missing, a yoga class, was truly remarkable, and it taught me that yoga is also about being proud. That first class back with Jean, validated for me that I need to look at every disadvantage as learning experience, to always look at the positive, that I am always growing and learning, and to take pride in every accomplishment. My yoga class was a highlight of the year; it was “post” worthy, and for that I am most thankful!
“Yoga is not about touching your toes; it’s about what you learn on the way down.” ~Unknown