Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Asana on Hold

I am frustrated beyond measure. Why? Because I fell off my mat (the yoga wagon if you will) quite literally. Before I fell let me explain the appeal yoga has for me. In a phrase, I like how there is no such thing as a perfect yogi/ni. Every other thing I do is something that I feel that I should excel in. If I fall short of being a perfect daughter, being a great friend, being an amazing student (and I inevitably do) it's really quite heartbreaking. Yoga has always been something different however. Just touching my toes felt like an accomplishment after years of tight hamstrings. To feel downward dog change from a struggle to a wonderful stretch was a joy. As my core grew stronger I could hold tree pose for longer. I had all the wonder and enthusiasm of a new yogini. So I started to branch out. Anyone with the privilege of living in one of Canada's major urban centers has access to something called passport to prana, which is a pass that, for a nominal fee gets you a free class at over 30 different studios around Toronto.

So there I was, happily branching out. Being adventurous, trying out different studios, different styles, different teachers when one day I fell off my mat. I was tired, it was a vinyasa class and everyone there was far more advanced then I was. Rather then focusing on my own practice, listening to what my body needed and trying to stay present I did exactly what I was avoiding. I started pushing myself, not just trying to keep up but trying to prove that I belonged there at this ritzy studio catering to blond, fit stay at home moms with their six-packs. (In my defense, the teacher did not encourage us to take a moment and reconnect but she pushed us harder then I had ever been pushed before.) So there I was, near the end of the practice doing one final vinyasa, and as I rolled over my toes and pushed myself back into downward dog, I felt an enormous wrench, as though my knee had suddenly turned around to face the back, and as I fell down, in excruciating pain and put my hand on my knee, I realized that that was exactly what had happened (actually my knee cap had dislocated itself and was now on the outside of my leg).

I saw a physiotherapist and she said the one thing I was the most scared of hearing: don't go back to yoga just yet. Get that knee healthy first. So I heaved a big sigh and acquiesced.

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