10 Ways to Yoga Through Injury

Injuries suck. I’m dealing with one currently and I’m not gonna lie - I was dealing with it poorly. At first, I allowed it to blow up into a big, fat catastrophe. Initially, I felt pretty damn sorry for myself and incredibly frustrated that I couldn’t hit the mat in the way that I wanted to. After some self-defeating days of pouting, I realized that I was becoming a negative Nancy. No one likes a negative Nancy. So, I said to my self: Self, get over it. Self, stop being a bum. Self, you got this. 

Virabhadrasana I

If you have an injury, I know it sucks, but it’s no excuse to enter negative Nancy mode like I did. So please, do yourself a favor and rebound quickly from the “poor me” attitude. You got this. If you need some help and inspiration to get over it, read on for tips to avoid morphing into a post-injury bum.

  1. Meditate. Come on. You know it’s good for you. Now that your physical body is temporarily relenting, this just may be the perfect opportunity to sit and be still. Maybe the idea of meditation – of stillness – freaks you out. Guess what? That’s normal. The only way to get over it is to actually meditate and work through the freak-outs. Start now. Check out some of our guided online meditation classes.
  2. Breathe. When the universe deals me some crappy cards, I find that there’s one super effective way to get over what I’ve been handed. Enter Breath of Fire. I know I shouldn’t have favorites and that I shouldn’t be super attached to any particular thing, but I most certainly am addicted to this form of pranayama. First, it’s killer core training. Second, it’s a sweet release. This forceful, powerful breath allows you to let go of the thinking mind and expel all the garbage that comes along with it. You may also release some nasal garbage. It’s cool. Let that go, too.
  3. Do what you can. Don’t entirely give up on the physical practice of yoga if you don’t have to. My current injury is neck related, so I’ve taken this opportunity to really focus on standing balances and stabilizing core work. It’s also given me the opportunity to create sequences that those with neck worries and injuries could handle. See...this is an opportunity in disguise! The universe is sneaky.
  4. Restore. Whip out the restorative party favors. Grab your blankets, blocks, and bolsters and go to town with some restorative yoga at home. But wait. Don’t stop with the restoration process post Namaste. Don’t step off your mat and enter bum mode. Keep feeding your body healing, pure foods, hydrating, and engaging in mentally stimulating and renewing activities.
  5. Surrender. Consider this minor setback a cosmic wake-up call. The universe is telling you to slow down. Listen up and surrender to this cosmic cautioning. You’ve now been warned.
  6. Release excuses. It’s easy to just throw in the towel and say, “To hell with all of this.” It’s easy to slump into your couch, numb the brain with crappy TV, and pig out on ice cream and beer. It’s easy to let an injury totally break you down in brain, body, and spirit. Don’t let it. Commit to a positive healing process. Being hurt isn’t an excuse to totally let yourself go. If you do, you’ll only make it worse.
  7. Stay positive. Don’t let this injury distract you too much. Handle it. Be mindful of it. But don’t let it consume you. This is NOT a catastrophe. This is NOT the end of the world. Consider this obstacle an opportunity to train the mind and body in new, unexplored ways.
  8. Affirm your healing. Write down some self-supporting affirmations to promote healing and keep your vibe high. Recite them daily. Examples: This too shall pass. All is temporary. Obstacles are opportunities…You get the idea.
  9. Recite mantra. Chanting is an awesome way to release tension, anxiety, and all the chatter of the thinking mind. Sing out loud to free your self-pitying, woe-is-me blues. Create elevating, positives vibes.
  10. Remember: Warriors get hurt. They get knocked down. They get roughed up. But then, they get back up. They brush off the crap and keep forging ahead. Getting knocked down and roughed up doesn’t make you any less of a warrior. Just don’t stay down. Get back up. Brush off the crap. This is the stuff of life that makes you strong, yogis.

~Tess

Photo Credit: Warrior I via www.thatsmyyoga.tumblr.com

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