Returning to the Mat



After being off the mat for about 4 weeks, I’m finding my way again…albeit slowly.

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I desperately want to be back to where I left off (before my injury) but, fortunately, my body is sending very clear messages of when and where I can go. Well…maybe the messages aren’t so clear in where exactly I can go. However, it is very clear about where I cannot go.

I am immensely grateful that I can do any yoga at all. I am also thankful for the lessons in functional anatomy and alignment which this injury has provided me with. It should serve me and my future students well.

On Saturday, I completed the Sun Salutations A & B and all of the standing poses with the exception of Padangusthasana, Padanhastasana, and Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (per Dr. Pederson’s advice). I will be able to add these poses back in due time. I followed with Navasana (boat) x 3, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge) x 2, and just 1 Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel). I ended with a couple supine twists and Savasana.

In the end, body felt like it had worked yet I felt good that I had pushed myself in a safe manner. I rolled onto my side and proceeded to dedicate the benefits of my practice to my youngest son who’s football game would begin in less than an hour. After finishing up, I showered, dressed, and was on my way to his game.

All was well until the 3rd quarter. I sat with friends watching the game and following my son on the field. In this particular play, he and an opposing player’s helmets hit hard in the block. Even though it was on the far side of the field, I could hear it up in the stands. I cringed, as I always do when I hear the sound of the players colliding. After the play, I watched the other player shove him in anger and walk away. Then I watched my son put his hands to his eyes, stagger, and fall to his knees. My heart pounded and my breathing quickened. I sat and observed.
I am grateful that he was able to walk off the field. Unfortunately, that he incurred a concussion in that final play. As we sat in the waiting room at Kaiser, I wondered if dedicating the benefits of my practice was a good idea. What do functional anatomy and alignment have to do with football anyway?

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My boyfriend, noting that it could have been a lot worse supposed that my offering might have saved my son from an outcome far worse. As I reflect on what I was thinking as I lay on my side that morning I remember appreciating my ability to navigate safely in my practice. Although I’d hoped my well wishes would have shielded my son completely from harm, I now think that it may also have helped.

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