19 May, 2013

You will get injured...

Today was Gentle Yoga with Elizabeth McElveen.

Before class, she talked about one of her former teachers, who she heard on a podcast, I think, that morning. Somehow, the story she was telling came around to the subject of people getting injured doing yoga. And the matter-of-fact is that you will get injured. On the mat. Doing yoga. It's inevitable. Well, it has certainly been true for me. She said that injuries will tend to come about, and then move from one part of the body to another, over time. Yep. That happened too. I have told you all about it, in excruciating detail. I guess I look around at the 25 year old yogis and wonder why they never seem hurt. Well, the truth is, I don't actually know if they're hurt. It's not like they're all wearing ace bandages, and neither am I. Nobody in class would look at me and say "His low back is clearly killing him, and he's nursing a groin pull." Because the practice just evolves to tolerate those issues.

It is comforting to know that this is the reality of getting into the body. As we learn, we damage things. And I suppose, over time, we learn how to not damage things, either by keeping the ego under control, or getting stronger or more flexible. A combination of all three, likely. And the lessons apply off the mat too. Strength is the ability to endure tough times. Flexibility is the ability to adapt to the situation. And the ego? Well, that's pretty much the same thing on or off the mat. We don't need to metaphorize that one.

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