This year is flying by! I spent three months in Canada finishing my second year of osteopathy school. Has there been a time in your life when you feel like you did the impossible?
I’ve been sharing this story a little on Instagram, but last year in March 2017 I hurt my back. I was juggling my full-time Gyrotonic practice, with a performance career, and traveling to Canada once per month for what I thought was going to be a part-time Osteopathy program. I was doing way too much, and I knew it was not sustainable and sooner or later something had to give. One morning during my 6 am yoga class; my back just snapped one sun salutation in. It was the scariest experience in my life! I was thinking to myself “What did I just do?” I knew there was something seriously wrong. I had a whole day of teaching ahead of me, and I never cancel on my clients at the last minute. After my class, I snuck in a quick steam, then limped to the car and drove all the way to my next Gyrotonic client. It was almost unbearable, and I did not know how I was going to make it through the day. I managed to get in to see my massage therapist, and then barely survived the weekend and was able to see my chiropractor friend on Monday. After an almost impossible assessment (ALL positions were uncomfortable) he recommended I get an MRI before doing any adjustments to rule out disc herniation. I went straight to the MRI place and found out I had a 3 mm disc bulge. I was upset, but somewhat relieved because finally, I had a valid reason to STOP.
I carry around this fear with me that people will think I’m lazy or not working hard enough, but my body was sending a powerful message that I could not ignore. Under orders from my chiropractor, I took 3 weeks rest, doing only very gentle restorative yoga, walking every day and avoiding any inflammatory foods.
Long story short… I healed! I always knew I would. I practiced the methods that I teach, I treated myself as my own client. I did the work, and now my back is better than ever. It was a gift because it forced me to slow down and reassess.
Have you ever had a wake-up call like this? Or are you guilty of pushing yourself so hard that you burn out or get injured? Were you able to learn something from the experience?
For me the lessons were: Sleep is not overrated. Flexibility without stability leads to injury. Therefore we must aim instead for mobility and stability. Mindset is everything. You don’t have control over what happens to you, but you can choose how you respond. Challenging moments in life are an opportunity to learn and evolve.
Also, before this happened I was feeling somewhat unfulfilled, and I was ready for a change in my life, but I did not know exactly what that change would be. For my whole life, I’d been pushing my body to its limit, and the experience indeed was a message telling me that it was time to shift gears. In the past year since the injury, my yoga practice has evolved ten-fold, I have had the opportunity to dive deep into the Gyrotonic Therapeutics work, and I received the message that I am on the right track on my journey to becoming an osteopath.
The biggest message that came through is that I need to share my experience. I’ve spent my whole life using my body as a laboratory, experimenting and studying movement, and now it’s time to share this work with the world. I’m starting by sharing my experience with you in this email so that you can learn from it. I am dedicated to sharing this information about movement, healing, and the body with you in person through in my retreats and teacher training.
I’m coming to Berlin in September to lead a 50hr Yoga Teacher Intensive. I’m collaborating with two very inspiring teachers Lisa Milloy and Phoebe Kiddo. If you are in Berlin, there is no reason to miss this training. If you are somewhere else in the world, what better way to experience Berlin than through a yoga teacher training?! The 50 hours are part of a modular 200-hour training that will take place online and through three in-person retreats. We’ve been working on this for a long time, and I’m so excited to finally be able to share.