A G MOHAN wrote…”All of us have experienced times when it felt as though everything was coming apart, disintegrating around us into so many pieces, and we were without a way of holding them together. Yet often what is fragmented and chaotic about the situation is not the events themselves, but the state of our own minds”
One Saturday in May..I had been practicing yoga at home whilst barefoot.. I was in a good place, and decided to have a cup of tea. I was practicing in my conservatory….the rain was teaming down….and it had added a lovely quality to my practice drumming down on the roof.. My fridge was in my utility area in an extension with a glass roof…..unaware that the roof had started to leak I stepped out into a pool of water, and did a classic impression of Bambi on ice! Cup in hand, my right leg darted forward, my left knee crashed to the ground…..cup disintegrated and I knew….just knew my knee was in trouble.
My teacher training course at Yoga Campus had been intense. I drew on what I knew. Shocked and in pain I reached for the freezer and used frozen peas to place on my damaged knee…..and swung round to raise my legs on to the side of the fridge doors (a modified Viparita Karani).
So now what?…….I lay there…..I live alone….what next? Well breathe, Kay…..just breathe. Use the Yoga you have learned to recoup. I did. After twenty minutes I thought I might try and move…..and realised it was not possible to put weight on my left leg. So I hopped to a chair and elevated my leg and left the frozen peas on my leg (Birds Eye for those that need to know)! Dazed and shocked I decided to wait until morning to see if things were worse or better. They were worse! So a dear friend took me to A&E where they decided that I should be put in pot as they suspected a fractured kneecap. This was not good. I am in the final stages of my Yoga Teacher Training Course…..with a Final Teaching Assessment looming on 28 June and a schematic to complete.
Options….well panic came to mind! So I used the resources I had learned. Make your intention good…..don’t worry about the outcome. Take each moment as it comes and give it your best. So with leg in pot, I came home. “Rest” they said “and come back next week”. Don’t tell a yogi to rest! I can sit…..I can do forward bends…..I can breathe….I can meditate…..I can use my upper body….I can move my toes and even inside my plaster cast I can move my quads. So I did. The following week I went back….it was not a broken knee cap but it was a bad haematoma (bleed on the knee) with some tendon damage. So a brace was fitted and crutches supplied. Physio set up and I was given some exercises to do. I was told it would be mid to end July before I might get movement back in my knee.
I understood the principles….I needed to keep the muscles moving around my knee but I also needed to respect my knee and not put pressure on it or twist it. So…..what does a yogi do???? Downward facing dog against wall worked well, forward bends were fine,…..with the help of chairs and walls I could twist and surprisingly balance and so I did. I attended one of Amanda’s yoga classes and loved it….couldn’t do it all….but loved what I could do and engaged with the other students and the class and felt ALIVE.
I return to my physio who is a beautiful young man of Indian origin who knows nothing about yoga. (Don’t you love it?) He gives me some exercises and tells me I shall be returning for some time. OK.
Ten days later I return to the physio department at Harrogate Hospital and tell him I no longer need my crutches. He smiles (oh bless him he did). He asks me to show him how I can bend my knee (I can) he looks at the amount of bruising and asks me to do a bridge pose (heaven to me) and he looks shocked. He can’t believe it. He honestly cannot believe my progress. “How have you done this” he says…..”with yoga” I respond. “No really how have you achieved this it is amazing” he says……”Honestly….I used all I have learned from yoga, Faz”. Yoga taught me not to stress about the outcome….to take each moment as it came….to live with my pain….to be with myself….and just to be and place my trust in my instinct and my body. I didn’t try and put weight on my knee too soon…I knew enough about anatomy to respect my body…..but yoga taught me not to be anxious about the future. Yoga taught me to keep moving within my limitations
“That is so amazing” he said. “Can you let me know when you start teaching yoga, I would like to come to your classes!”
In “Yoga The Practice of Moving into Stillness” Erich Schiffman wrote ….. “The way you interpret and respond to the events in your life will change. You will perceive the specific circumstances of your daily life differently because you’ll have a new awareness and vantage point. You’ll have less fear, fewer worries, more enthusiasm for life, and you will spontaneously become more effective in all you choose to do.”
Well, having recovered from my knee injury between 4-6 weeks earlier than expected by the physio department at Harrogate District Hoospital….. I can vouch for that.
Kay Manby is an advanced class student with Amanda at Harrogate Yoga and she has trained as a yoga teacher with Yoga Campus Hebden Bridge.