Practice what I preach


Not only do I have the best job as a yoga teacher, but the benefits are endless. From meeting great people, to seeing each individual grow in their personal practice, to being warm in the winter! I can truly say I am so thankful to love what I do. But sometimes, it’s hard to practice what I preach.

“Listen to your body.” “Drop the ego.” “Savor each moment and each practice.” As a teacher, I am always stressing yogis to be patient with the body and honor it daily. But when my body is off and an injury comes into play, it’s hard for me to be patient with myself.

I had just finished moving, (aka I was stressed to the max), I was short tempered with my boyfriend and everything was piling up. I felt as small as an ant. That Friday morning, I woke up feeling depersonalized and not right. My back was in pain, and this was not the normal backache. During my move, I made a valid effort to bend at the knees to pick things up, but it was way easier to hinge from my back to pick up the bags. I knew something was wrong. I finished out the weekend unpacking and was starting to feel relieved (at home anyways). Still in denial, I just kept thinking I slept wrong or lifted something too heavy during the move. “It’ll be gone in a day or two.” Not.

I ended up at my chiropractic adjustment in numbing pain Monday morning and he told me it was my discs in L3-L4 and L4-L5. As a yoga teacher who relies on my body to earn a living, how was I supposed to relax and rest? I could not sit, I could not stand, I was hysterical all day. I was told to couch it, ice it, and practice cat and cows at home. Cow, had no problem, but cat was impossible. I was stuck at a neutral spine. Any flexion of the spine was excruciating. He wanted me back twice a day for the next couple of days so I did just that. He didn’t crack my back, he isolated L3,L4 and L5 and swiveled me side to side on a special table. It was uncomfortable but I did slowly start to feel better after each visit. By Thursday I went in again for my check up and the nerve pain and muscle spasms had finally slowed way down! While working on my low back, Dr. S said “oh yeah! I just got it back into place did you feel that?” I didn’t but he must have because I felt so much better for the rest of the day.

I have been off of my mat for nearly 3 weeks now and I am so eager to get back into the flow. I do still have slight pain but it’s night and day to how I was feeling. I know once I get back on the mat, modifications, especially with rounding of the spine, will be my best friend. Sometimes, even us teachers, have to remember to be patient and know it’s okay to rest! I’ve got to practice what I preach.

Hoping to be practicing next to you soon!


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One Response

  1. Donata says:

    Oh Jo….I hope you are on the way to mending… a runner for 30 years, I am no stranger to injuries….some very serious….instead of fighting them…embrace them and let them lead to the many other wonderful things out there that can greet your body… was one of them for me….I can truly say, I have never felt better….my runs now some of the best I have ever had….but my practice is what truly feeds me…..

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