This summer, I broke my neck while playing baseball with my kids. For three months, I wore my cervical collar and had extremely restricted activities. In fact, my doctor told me that I could walk. That was the only approved activity. I knew I would miss yoga, but what I missed most about yoga surprised me.
I have this issue. It’s common, many people have it, but it’s my issue and I accept responsibility for it. When I start to fall asleep, if my husband falls asleep first and I can hear him breathe, it drives me bonkers.
I nudge him and roll him; I do whatever I can think of so that I can’t hear him. Even when I put in ear plugs appropriate for a shooting range, I hone in on his sound, and it infuriates me.
Mind you, he’s not even snoring. He’s just breathing, peacefully existing. But the sound of it drives me crazy and keeps me awake.
What I Missed Most About Yoga
When I first started practicing yoga, I had the same issues. We would get ready for Savasana. Undoubtedly, someone would drift off, and it would rock my boat.
However, since I was approaching this unnerving situation immediately following a wonderful yoga practice, I was able to have a moment of clarity. Instead of being frustrated by the external sound, I should look for the silence within.
Really, my issue isn’t about the noise that someone else makes. After all, the person is breathing. This means that they are healthy and alive. You know what would be really unnerving? Someone not breathing–because then they’d be dead. That would be terrible!
Now, I may blame this external noise or that (and sure, some noises are going to be more annoying to you than others), but the real problem was within. So, I decided to lean in to the discomfort I felt from the breathing noise. Sure, I had to actively relax my shoulders, neck, and jaw constantly in the beginning.
Then, one day, without even realizing it. I was over it. I had practiced enough that I could create quiet within myself, no matter what was going on around me.
Naturally, I took that skill to the bedroom. My new-found ability to create quiet within me allowed for everyone to have a more restful night’s sleep.
Then, I got out of practice. My old nudging and rolling habits returned until finally, I had had enough! I was sick of the anger, frustration, and blame game.
I decided to ignore my doctor’s advice and resume my yoga practice. Savasana was the only pose I started practicing, but boy did that one pose make a great difference in my happiness!
I wish I would have been a little less literal with my doctor’s orders from the beginning. Yes, I absolutely needed to let my body heal and rest. However, my mind and spirit suffered from the removal of my yoga practice.
When you’re healing from an injury, you can still practice Savasana. You can still ground and practice breathing. If you have never given meditation a try, it’s a great opportunity when you have restricted movement.
Do your best to nurture your spirit when your body is recovering, and your recovery will be more tolerable.
What do you love most about yoga? Let us know in the comments below.
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