Sorry, everyone! I’ve been quiet here since the car accident. I’ve been taking this time to meditate, process and transition among all the changes. But I’ve received all your messages and prayers of healing during my recovery. So, thank you for all the love and support!
It has been two months since the car accident and I’m feeling better mentally, spiritually and physically. I’m not at my full strength but I do have full range of movement in my left shoulder. At this time, I’m strengthening with physical therapy and light weights and will see my doctor after the holidays to review my progress. If all goes well, I might be able to come back to teach and practice some classes in mid/late January while I continue to strengthen my left shoulder.
At first, I thought I’d be at full strength within six to eight weeks but that’s the time frame for healing a separated ac joint, not strengthening it back to 100%. Accepting how long the recovery process is has been hard for me, but it has also put a new perspective on what it really means to honor and be patient with my body.
Some days, I feel strong and positive. Other days, I feel frustrated and impatient. But one thing keeps me going:
One of the greatest moments in life is realizing that two weeks ago, your body couldn’t do what it just did. – Unknown
This quote has been a driving force for me these past two months because every two weeks I have seen my left shoulder heal, recover and regain range of movement. I used to get frustrated because I couldn’t tie my hair into a ponytail or fold laundry without my left shoulder hurting. But now, I can and it gives me a newfound appreciation for how hard my body works for me everyday (even when it comes to the small things).
Realizing the positive out of this negative experience wasn’t easy though. It broke my spirit when my doctor immobilized my left arm in a sling and instructed that I do not teach or practice yoga, drive or lift my left arm for the next six to eight weeks.
I was angry, disappointed and overwhelmed. I had a difficult time with the pain and being away from my yoga classes because I was teaching and practicing over 25 hours a week for the last 18 months. Physically, my body was at its strongest and to realize I couldn’t comfortably settle into a seated pose or a forward fold without pain was frustrating. Mentally, it was difficult because I couldn’t do what I love. Emotionally, I was overwhelmed because I was easily frustrated and anxious over little things like trouble sleeping with my shoulder injury.
My mind, body and spirit was disconnected and I realized that I had diverted my full attention to the limitations of my circumstance instead of the possibilities it brings. So I slowly recollected myself day by day through my breath.
Simple yet incredibly powerful, our breath is a healing gift that we often overlook but keeps us calm during the storms and centered when unbalanced.
I lost that during the weeks after my accident but after taking some time to embrace how vulnerable I felt, I also found my strength to move forward.
Every morning, I would start a walk at my natural pace. Then slowly draw my attention to my breath and open my awareness to a larger sense of the environment around me (from sound, sight and physical sensations). Once I was mid-way through my walk, I would stop and sit down at a park to meditate and just be. Sometimes I would ask the universe for strength and guidance; other times I would simply radiate positive energy back to the universe with unconditional gratitude and love for having moments like these to take everything in.
Each day was different. Some days good. Some days bad. But adding conscious breathing, mindfulness and meditation as part of my healing process helped restore the light in my heart, the patience in my mind and the strength in my soul.
It has taken me two months to find my way back but I’m grateful for this opportunity to slow down and focus on me. I still miss my students and my practice but this experience has taught me to find the light in the dark. I have learned how to honor and love myself no matter what state I am in. It won’t always be easy to accept this, especially as I start to strengthen and come back to my practice.
I understand that I won’t be able to do my favorite poses like chaturangas, headstands or arm stands on the fly but it’s okay. And it’s okay because I know this journey is a blessing in disguise, an opportunity for me to focus on: (1) self love and acceptance, (2) deeper training and learning of how to use yoga for therapeutic healing and (3) how to teach off the mat so I can better support and guide my students with hands on adjustments and mind-body awareness.
It’s okay because at the end of this journey, I’ll be stronger in mind, body and spirit as a student and teacher of life and yoga.
So as we wrap up this year, I would like to extend my fullest gratitude to each and one of you who has given your love, support and prayer along the way. Let’s embrace where we are in this life and bring our best self in the year to come. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!