If you follow me on Instagram you might know by now how happy I am to be back in Bali, the Island of Gods!
For those of you who don’t well let me tell you that I am BEYOND happy to be back. It is great to be back with my teachers and friends in this beautiful place that somehow feels like home.
It is crazy how a place on the other side of the world became so special to me in only one month and how I created some very significant relationships in such short time as well.
After the crazy emotional rollercoaster I went through the last days in India, arriving to a safe place like Bali si to me, felt pretty nice. When I first arrived I stayed in the beach with my friends and took some days off to recuperate from the long travels and settle myself back in before diving into practice.
By Monday I was more than ready to head back to shala, see my teachers, the few people I knew that were still there and all the new people that were practicing now.
Buuuuut the universe works in crazy ways!! Yeah, I’ve said this tons of times before, it just does not stop amazing me!
At some point in between the excitement of being back in Bali practicing with my teachers, I got injured. Yes, on my first week!!
It’s nothing serious, just a pulled muscle! It’s actually very humbling and I guess that a bit funny, maybe?
I was all hyped up plus had been somewhat up in the air with a lot of emotions and I guess this is what I needed to snap out of it. It was necessary for grounding I would say.
Also, maybe this is the way the universe answered when I said I wanted to learn about Yoga Therapy through experience no? Haha!. But it has still been painful enough to keep me “off the mat” for several days and has forced me to take everything easy, which I rarely do.
It has also made me depend a lot on other people to help me do simple things such as putting my shoes on, occasionally, or driving me around. This part is very important because I was recently told that I feel the need to prove to myself and others that I can do everything on my own and that I don’t always have to try and be so strong. Interesting no?
As for my asana practice, I spent several days simply sitting in shala and watching. It is a great way to learn about other people’s practice and different teaching techniques, I really enjoyed it actually.
Fortunately after seeing an amazing therapist I was able to get back on my mat yesterday and this experience is what I really want to highlight in this post.
Although I am still in a considerable amount of pain, on Wednesday I got back on my mat because it is important to keep moving and work around the pain helping it heal.
You see, yoga therapy at it’s finest!
So, I got back on my mat with a very modified version of my practice and W A O, it was so crazy. Having to take many “steps back” was pretty mind blowing let me tell you. The modified version was not really easy for me but it felt so good and very necessary . Like my teacher said: “taking it slow is actually very good for you.” This is so true that when she said it my friend immediately laughed, in the middle of practice!
Like I am used to going faster, stronger, and deeper, taking it slow and gentle was very challenging for my mind and body, but I loved it! I actually had some revelations: I need to slow the f*** down sometimes, not only on the mat but in life in general.
That is why I truly believe that what is going on in your practice is a reflection of your life.
Let me explain a bit more why it felt so good and necessary…
First of all, I was able to focus more on alignment, which led me to understand why I might have pulled that muscle in the first place. The injury forced me to go into proper alignment in order to avoid pain. In certain poses I was taking it a bit too deep and by pulling back not only did I avoid the pain but got much more out of the posture than before.
Honestly my friends, less is more.
Another great benefit I am getting out of it is that I am focusing even more on my breathing. Part of the therapy I was given was breathing exercises, which is the most important part of practice anyway, so it is perfect. By taking it slower, and not having to do a very very long practice, I can take deeper and longer breaths that help me create space and stretch the area around my injury, the rib cages. I love that instead of just having to sit down and make time for “therapy” I get to do it in my daily practice.
Again, yoga therapy at it’s finest.
I am doing the modifications that are taught to people when they are new to the practice and that is something I had never experienced before. As a teacher this is so invaluable, especially for someone like me. By someone like me I mean someone who did not struggle much with asanas as a new practitioner. When I was young I was a gymnast, I dance my whole life, and was already practicing other styles of yoga when I found Ashtanga, so the physical part was not a huge challenge at the beginning.
Now, actually practicing the modified versions of each pose helps me so much to be able to understand those students who are starting from zero or have any sort of physical challenge, like me right now. It is so humbling and eye opening!!
This just continues to prove that the more you learn as a student the better of a teacher you will be. These things you don’t learn in teacher trainings, you learn through experience!!
Seriously, it is extraordinary to see how things unfold perfectly and in very unexpected ways. After making all these very impromptu decisions to drop my training, trusting that what I need to learn will come directly from my practice, all this happens!! Isn’t it crazy??
I love to be able to see it so clearly and I also love sharing it all through my posts so you can also see it clearly too!
When we get caught up in the craze of daily life we are too busy or overwhelmed to notice these “little” things and having the opportunity to be far away of all that in a magical place like Bali definitely helps to be more aware of it all.
Infinitely grateful for every single day in this wild wild world!