Hamstrings and humility

I’ve been excited about getting this blog set up for so long now. But truth be told, this is not the blog post I thought I’d be writing first up.

I’d planned my blog as a tool to help me find my yoga. I needed space to process the ceaseless stream of thoughts, ideas, and discoveries I was having every day. I was having a great time exploring asanas, finding new experiences in familiar poses and trying out new ones. I could feel my body changing every day, becoming stronger, more flexible, more stable – just more alive. And alongside this I’d been reading my Patanjali and Pradipika and having some mind-bending conversations with my teacher, taking my understanding of yoga philosophy to a whole new level. I was trying to embody the yamas and niyamas on the mat and off the mat. Yeah, it was ‘transformative’!

My home had become filled with all those must-have (modern, western) yoga accoutrements – a fridge filled with coconut water and organic local veggies, a drawerful of fancy yoga pants, a corner of the loungeroom where yoga props nestled discretely, yet were always to hand. And my daily habits were changing too – from starting my day with hot lemon and some mindful stretching instead of blindly groping for the Nespresso machine through to rushing home from the office to get to a vinyasa class, instead of working overtime and then drowning my resentment in a glass or few of Cote du Rhone.

It was all good. I was starting to feel like a proper yogi. I congratuated myself on how I was ‘getting it’. I was learning to practice real yoga. I pitied those less enlightened folk who just thought it was pretzel shapes and toned abs.

And then two days ago I hurt my hamstring.

Well I say two days ago, because truth be told this had probably been coming on for a while. I’d been feeling discomfort in some poses, particularly trikonasana and any foward folding. I ignored it until I couldn’t, and it was officially a ‘pain’ rather than a ‘sensation’. Something’s definitely been twanged, and it needs to rest.

So now I’m feeling lost. Prevented from doing my regular asana practice, I’m suddenly no longer sure I ‘get’ yoga at all. I might know in my head that asana practice is simply a way of coaxing mind and body to settle into the real experience of yoga. But my body yearns for movement. And my ego craves the validation of performing through a sweaty, dynamic class.

So I guess my work now is to rest. I’ll practice santosha in tadasana. And look for a good physio.

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