It seems like a long time ago that I frantically asked my teacher for physio recommendations. Now I feel as though I practically have A on speed-dial! She’s been great in helping me heal the damage to my hamstring tendons and very patient with me, despite the fact that she more often deals with proper athletes with more serious concerns, not newbie wannabe yoginis. We saw each other last just before I left the UK for a month, a check in on my progress and to plan my programme for the next few weeks.
Physios slightly scare me. Of course like any medical practitioner they tend to have a very functional approach to my body, analysing its performance like a bit of machinery. My personality and my emotions are rarely taken into account. I find this ‘skin and bones’ approach almost overwhelmingly humbling, as it really brings home the message of human vulnerability and ultimate mortality.
But of course relationships develop with time, and even doctor-types are real people underneath their professional facade. And I think A saw me in a new light at our last meeting. Early on I had still toyed with asana practice, being unable to believe I’d really done much damage to myself and not reading my body’s signals very well. Plus being pretty clueless anatomically about what postures engaged the hamstrings and what didn’t… So I think she had me pegged as just another yoga fanatic who wouldn’t listen to good advice.
A few consultations further on, with me following her exercise regime strictly and avoiding asana practice entirely and I could see her mental cogs spinning to a different rhythm. “Really, you’ve done no yoga at all since we last met? But you love yoga!” She looked incredulous when I pointed out that yoga was also a discipline, and if the way to go was omitting asana practice, then yoga had itself set me up to abide with that, blah, blah. A does a good line in incredulous looks.
I was treated to another when I revealed that for me asana practice was a daily thing (not just ‘a couple of gym classes a week’ in her expression). So inevitably then I also got one when I asked about sitting cross-legged for daily meditation! And another — most amusingly — when we looked through a yoga picture book together so I could understand more about what I could/couldn’t do. She came across corpse pose. “Isn’t that just lying down? That’s not yoga!” She laughed out loud. I don’t know what I found funnier — her reaction to the physical form of savasana, or her bemused expression when I tried to explain…
Anyway our latest interaction has been an online consultation. Less amusing all round.
A bit scary in fact.
Now A’s given me the go-ahead to begin to introduce forward folds and downward facing dog into my practice. This is what I’ve been inching towards and craving for the last few months. Now it seems more daunting for all the anticipation and emotional weight I’ve heaped on it in the interim.
I hope my yoga has also set me up for this challenge.