After my Saturday class at Black Dog Yoga, a student asked me about injury recovery and stamina.
He told me that he was post-operative and had just begun practicing again after a few months of recovery. Prior to surgery he practiced regularly and took pilates often. He explained that during our Basics class, he felt winded and off balance and found that he needed to take frequent breaks in order to maintain his breath and balance. His question was, "when will I be able to practice like I used to?"
I offered him this response: Take breaks to breath without moving the body as often as needed. The body will recover at it's own pace, despite how ready your mind is to get back into the physical practice. The most difficult part of the healing process may be to keep the mind in it's place while the physical body restores itself. I explained that the practice is cumulative so whatever amount of posture he does during class will benefit him, and that as long as he stays with his breath, he will receive all of it's benefits.
He shook his head in agreement and told me that he knew it would take some time to get back, and that the patience he would need at this point may be the most challenging benefit in his practice to date. :)
I am very happy to have had him in class, and to offer me this question. I've felt this way many times in my life, having endured a variety of injuries and illness that prevented me from going through with my regular routines. We will all experience some version of this man's challenge during our yoga practice. May we come away from it with the same liberating challenge as he has.
Be well! Stay dry LA!