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When I fell down while walking in my neighborhood last week, I had no idea that my life would be so radically changed so quickly. It was changing, of course, radically, with the move of Austin Yoga Institute to my home, for the time being. And this after almost 15 years of inhabiting our former space at 1122C South Lamar Boulevard. For the record, no matter how much developers try to make our beloved South Austin like southern California, this part of Austin will always be dear to me–the hill, the view of downtown, the nearness to Zilker Park, Barton Springs and my home.

The fall last Tuesday happened so fast that truly the first thought in my mind was “how did I wind up face down on the pavement?” Hobbling home with my lip split and my knee slammed, I did not have many printable words for the world to hear. After washing my face and icing my knee, I decided to go ahead and teach the last Tuesday evening class of the beginners’ series (this before the knee swelled to twice its normal size–that came later).

What’s clear after an accident is how completely the whole body reacts. Not just the lip that was cut or the knee that was banged, but the entire nervous system. So resting and continuing to ice and apply arnica to the knee were in order. As time went on and the swelling became severe, I had to actually spend time in bed with the knee elevated and iced for 20 minute intervals, or hobbling around the house with a cane or a crutch. Humbling, profoundly humbling, for someone who was probably born running.

So as the days went by and friends taught classes for me, or I cancelled them, I had an opportunity to reflect on how, when the universe opens up and swallows you, you don’t have a choice anymore. You HAVE to slow down. Yes, it was the day before Halloween, no, I did not celebrate or give out any treats. And no, I was not able or willing to hobble to the Bass Concert hall to hear my songwriting hero, Leonard Cohen. I gave the tickets to RJ and a friend, and got a report on the concert from them.

Slowing down, then, was not the only lesson of this fall’s fall, but also detachment from  money and the things it can buy–concerts, halloween costumes and treats. Abhyasa, practice, and vairagya, detachment, says Patanjali, are the two wings of the yoga path.

The truly good news is that practice is still possible–but the container has changed and must be respected. Without respect, the healing process will slow and the container, the vehicle, this body will not find its way back to “normal” as quickly as it otherwise might. But time is not the focus for me right now. Truth to tell, I feel as if I almost have to enter a timeless zone to be in the healing light. My reiki teacher used to tell me “remember, you can always practice on yourself,” and I have been!

Universal healing energy is around us all the time. Pranayama and meditation are still possible, and even more necessary than before the fall. Careful, focussed asana work is still possible, and even more nourishing than before the fall. It was a harsh message and a harsh lesson, but with luck, I’ll learn from it.


Written by algarita

November 8, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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