Thursday, May 12, 2011

when yoga teachers hurt

video

This has come up for me too many times over the past week not to address. It's as if the Universe is poking me in the side, saying "Hey you, this is a source of discomfort." I even got this email from The Universe this morning... "Think of the one area of life that brings you the most discomfort, sharon, and that's where you're ripe for growth."

So here I sit at Coffee Times. Post latte, post time spent (wasted)on Facebook. Doing anything, but addressing and sharing what's really in my mind and on my heart.

Over the past week I've literally spoken with four yoga teachers about ways their body is or isn't working properly for them. I am one in that category of four.

As Brit Brit says in her new tune, "Keep on dancing till the world end." Well I was doing just that last Friday. My dancing abruptly ended when I stubbed my toe so hard that I was spinning in pain. I kept dancing till my big toe throbbed. It's ok. You can laugh. It was a laughable moment (and one that was recorded by my brother). That's me above doing a Big Sur Dance in earlier, happier toe times.

Which has led to many interesting and some uncomfortable scenarios. Like not being able to do asana in the ways I love oh so much. Making demo-ing some postures simply not an option. Showering, getting to and from, not walking my dogs, not even being able to play with wild and crazy Remy for fear of his 65 pounds crushing my toe. And being sensitive in more ways than one. Practicing the art of sitting and being with discomfort without pushing it away.

In short, I'm having to practice what I have preached to so many of my yoga students and teacher trainees over the years. I said to the student last fall in Mexico, "I know it's hard to believe, but this will make you a better teacher. When your student presents a similar pain or problem you'll know how to help. You'll be better equipped to witness other people's discomfort."

I've been lucky over the course of my yoga practice. We've had a pretty sweet love affair. Other than dealing with the occasional cold I've been healthy and well. My body may be tight in certain areas but She has always served me well. I am blessed. I know that. I don't doubt it.

Now with a hurt toe everything (ok a lot) is different. My practice has consisted of seated poses. This weekend while the amazing Leeann is in town I expect that I will mostly be observing and take notes from the sideline. Isn't it ironic that Friday's session is titled "Meet Your Feet"? Hehe. Again.

A lot of us as yoga teachers don't want to admit when our body is hurting, or not doing as we wish. But we don't want to tell you. Perhaps it's fear of acceptance or approval. Maybe we don't want you to see our less than perfect ways. Perhaps we feel it's none of your business. Maybe we want to keep it private. Maybe admitting it makes it more real.

We don't want you to see that we don't have all the answers. That we falter and flounder just as often (if not more) than you.

BUT the thing is we're growing and changing. Constantly. We're observing, witnessing, and being with all of it. At least that's what I try to do. The good, the bad, the hurt, the joy, the uncertainty....there is room for all of it.

As The Universe confirmed this morning, it's the dark scary parts that are ripe for growth and healing. That's what I'm taking from this shitty freak toe accident. ;)

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