how injury was a valuable teacher on my yttc

mm
By: Jasmine Irving
Edited date: January 9, 2024Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Embracing Lessons from Injury

Yoga has been my unwavering companion, offering solace during the darkest days and radiating warmth on the brightest ones. Amid adversity and injury, I turned to my yoga practice, even if only for a ten-minute savasana. Yoga provided me with a path to self-discovery and healing.

A Dream to Pursue

My aspiration to undertake a yoga teacher training course (YTTC) has long been a cherished dream.

I embarked on a journey to India to enroll in a 200-hour YTTC with Kranti Yoga, seeking to deepen my self-practice and cultivate a safe space for others on the mat.

This experience, however, proved to be much more transformative than I had imagined, forcing me to confront my vulnerabilities and find stability in the previously unreachable.

The Unexpected Obstacle

Yet, just a month before the course began, I faced a significant setback.

A lower back injury, a misaligned sacroiliac joint, left me in excruciating pain, necessitating a halt to all physical practice and work commitments.

It became evident that I had been pushing myself too hard without the requisite mindfulness, ultimately leading to the injury during one of my classes.

Doubt and Resilience

Despondency threatened to engulf me, and thoughts of abandoning my dream loomed.

I questioned my ability to recover, doubting whether I could be a yoga practitioner, let alone a teacher.

In this dark moment, I stumbled upon a passage from the Bhagavad Gita, reminding me that no effort on the yoga path is ever in vain and obstacles can be overcome.

The Path to Recovery

Determined to persist, I embarked on a journey of healing. Yoga Nidra, meditation, gentle stretches, and professional treatment became my daily routine.

With time and dedicated effort, I began to see progress.

The yoga school in India accommodated my need for rescheduling, allowing me to regain my strength.

A Second Challenge

Yet, adversity struck again just weeks before the course.

Another back injury incurred while working on a yoga shala construction project made me doubt my readiness.

This time, however, I listened to my body, and recovery was swifter.

Facing the Unknown

Arriving at the yoga school, I was besieged by uncertainty.

My body felt fragile, plagued by back and neck issues compounded by recent bouts of gastroenteritis.

Tears welled up as I contemplated the physical demands ahead. Nonetheless, I persevered, even if it meant simply observing asana practices and immersing myself in yoga philosophy, ayurveda, and teaching methodology.

The Transformative Experience

The yoga school proved accommodating and adaptable, offering modifications tailored to my needs. Emphasis on proper alignment ensured my safety in practice.

I realized that doing yoga “right” meant listening to my body and making necessary adjustments.

Gratitude for the Teacher Within

The YTTC experience, with its community living, nourishing food, and supportive instructors, balanced and rejuvenated me.

Most importantly, my injuries became my most valuable teachers. I am grateful for the pain they caused, as it deepened my understanding of correct alignment and safe practice, shaping my future teaching.

My neck issues, too, have improved through core strengthening.

A Diverse Community

The YTTC community was diverse, each member grappling with their unique past or present injuries and challenges.

We shared a passion for yoga and a commitment to the practice, forging a bond through this extraordinary journey.

Yoga is inclusive and accessible to all, regardless of injuries or disabilities.

Extending Compassion to Oneself

The course imparted valuable lessons in self-compassion, patience, acceptance, balancing effort, and ease on the mat.

To anyone contemplating a YTTC but hindered by physical or mental obstacles, take the leap. It is the most transformative four weeks of your life.

It certainly was for me, and I am grateful for my unwavering determination to persevere despite the initial self-doubt.

Read more on practicing yoga safely here: Extra tips for practicing basic postures safely and Practice safe hatha yoga.