photo from Boston Magazine
When I was laid off from my job a few years ago, I found myself with a LOT of time on my hands and (of course) my familiar habit of always wanting to learn something new. I’d seen a lot of folks talking about rebounding, mini-trampolines more specifically, as a great way to move the lymphatic system. In super clear language: the lymphatic system helps your body get rid of toxins.
And then my Mom found a mini trampoline at the town dump, in perfect condition. I considered this a killer form of manifestation. FREE trampoline, thanks Universe! Around the same time, I graduated from Yoga Teacher Training.
As so one gorgeous spring day (with my sneakers on…my BAD!) I rolled my ankle hard while I was jumping away in the afternoon sun. I’d never injured an ankle before, but I could tell right away this was going to be a little difficult to shake.
Little did I know….
I could go on and on and on telling you all the horrible, crappy things that happened after I hurt my ankle and my achilles. But here is the core of what really pissed me off: I lost yoga. I know that sounds dramatic and very over the top, but yoga is what keeps me from getting lost in the first place.
It is the tool that has helped me find a compass, a sense of being grounded and not simply trapped in a head that spins into anxieties and fears really easily. This injury was my worst fear realized. I could not do a downward facing dog without making things worse, really worse. (Trust me I tried a LOT.)
When I did go to classes to modify poses because of my injury, I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to do the real movements, the full expression of the pose. My body craved that feeling, that same high. I stopped going to yoga studios because it was such a harsh reminder of what I wanted so badly but couldn’t have.
And as I write that sentence, I feel obligated to admit that my heart felt sort of the same way at that point, craving some(one) I couldn’t have. How we feel in one area of our lives is so often how we feel in others.
Slowly, slowly and REALLY slowly, I began to realize the foolishness of focusing on what I couldn’t do (or have) and clinging to that one thing (or person) so fiercely. Mentor upon mentor put their hand on my should and said, “You need to find something else Katie.” Yoga was not the only stress relieving tool at my disposal, but man did I act like it was.
I was stubborn though and I clung to yoga fiercely perhaps because of a saying my teacher had recited throughout my yoga teacher training, “There is a yoga for every phase of your life.” Thank goodness that sunk in. I found more restorative yoga classes. I opened up to kundalini yoga which I would never have done otherwise. I let my place in yoga be limited to this, and I respected it. Because I still had a little piece of it.
Tools like mantra and sound (and theta waves) and just the sheer force of music swooped in and met me right where I was, injury and all. And then aromatherapy with it’s magical connection to our limbic system showed up, and I finally surrendered to what I couldn’t have and embraced what found me instead.
I dropped the pain and the anger around and just let it do it’s thing on it’s own timeline. (And I gave up being stubborn about paying the pediatrist bills and did the custom orthopedics / heel lift thing).
With my heart, that was a much more complicated matter. I guess I learned some types of broken hearts take even longer to heal than achilles heels. Go figure.
The point though isn’t that it feels like it took forever, the point is that it does all heal. Even when it feels impossible.
This post is kind of a mishmash of timelines because my ankle has been injured and re-injured a few times (so for my close friends, no you’re not remembering some of those details wrong!)