5 Tips to Overcome Yoga Injuries (While Learning to Love Yourself in the Process)
I love my yoga practice, and I feel very attached to it. It has become my daily personal refuge, the time to be with myself, my thoughts and my body. If I cannot practice for any reason, I feel anxious and out of balance. If that reason is an injury that keeps me away from my mat, I cannot help but feel angry, frustrated and guilty. But, why is that? Why do these feelings tend to crawl up to the surface? After a long time meditating on this, I concluded that it is a sense of failure that brings them. I failed to keep my body safe and unharmed. I failed to love myself. But, did I really?
In the end, it all comes to the fact that I did not accept myself as I am, with my limitations. I did not accept that I am not perfect. Through my injuries, I am learning to accept myself as I am, to accept my limitations and to be patient. By accepting yourself as you are, you become closer to loving yourself. However, this is never an easy path. There will always be moments of frustration and despair. I found that in order to overcome these moments, it helps to:
1) Surrender, let go
Just accept that things happen for a reason, and there is certainly a lesson - or many lessons - to be learned through this process. If you stick with it, you will come out a better person.
2) Be mindful
Living each moment with awareness helps to focus our energy in the present moment and accept it instead of wondering how things could be different. Torturing yourself by thinking about what you could have done to avoid the injury leads you nowhere. Instead, eat, walk and breathe with mindfulness. It will help you connect with your body and start listening to it.
Meditation helps your mind to get stronger and more focused, and strengthens your relationship with your body. It helps you to keep calm and relaxed and think positive. Deep relaxation practices such as yoga nidra are excellent.
4) Write your feelings in a journal
Not only will it help you to get it all out instead of keeping it inside, this will also help you in future situations. If you have to go through an injury again, you will know how you handled it before and what things helped you along the way, making it an easier journey.
5) Never give up
Never ever give up! You will be able to overcome all difficulties and struggles that life presents you, and it will only make you stronger. Just believe in yourself!
You can always take the extra time to focus on other aspects of yoga practice besides asana (the physical postures). You will become closer to discovering your true Self, which is after all, the main purpose of yoga. Take the opportunity to make friends with your body, learning how to listen to it, accept it and most importantly, to LOVE it!