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I taught my usual Sunday morning class this morning. I arrived early, as I always do, to set up the room and get settled in myself.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a slow-flow Vinyasa class that has a wide range of students including numerous older/elderly students. While I keep the room pretty warm, this is the furthest thing possible from a hot/Bikram class. If Bikram is the yoga equivalent of the Sahara, we’re a lovely and temperate Hawaii – mid 70s, comfortable, dare I even say delightful?
When I walked in at 9 a.m., half an hour before my class starts, the studio’s thermometer read 84 degrees. I was already in a full-body sweat from my 10-minute walk from home, so I headed straight for the A/C…only to find a locked lucite box had been attached over it, preventing me from adjusting the studio’s temp.

I stared, perplexed. The box stared back. Absurdly, I tried to pry it off, reach under it, jiggle it free. Finally, hot, sweaty, and irritated, I made my way to the front desk and was told by my receptionist buddy that the manager doesn’t work on the weekends, but had had the lock boxes installed to prevent instructors from adjusting the temperature.

The fact that instructors just might be in the best position to judge and adjust the studio’s temperature based on the safety and comfort of their students seems to escape management at this particular establishment.

Only one thing to do. Cue a Rageface.

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A few weeks ago, this inadvertent yogini became an injured yogini. To better illustrate what happened, I whipped up this (extremely simple, clearly I’m no artist) cartoon in the ever-fabulous Rage Face tradition.

But ha-ha’s aside, what’s a yoga teacher/avid yoga do-er/extremely active city dweller who walks everywhere to do when she can’t teach yoga/do yoga/be active/walk anywhere?

I’d like to say that after getting discharged from the ER, I crutched my way to the car, bowed my head in meditation, and found comfort in my knowledge that everything happens for a reason. Unfortunately, my reaction was more “FFFFFFUUUUUUUU” than “OOOOOOMMM.” But once I worked through the first few stages (Denial: It isn’t really broken, it’s just dislocated. Here, I’ll realign it myself! AHHHHH!!!! Anger: Why do the dogs need stools anyway? Stupid dogs! Bargaining: Maybe I’ll heal in only two weeks if I just do more Restorative Yoga! Depression: Might as well make myself a martini. This sucks. Everything sucks. I can’t do ANYTHING!), I did finally reach Acceptance.

I decided I should take this time to slow down, literally and figuratively, since…well, I didn’t really have any other choice. Ha! I decided to try to practice what I preach and live my yoga off the mat. And that means that in the same way that yoga is about non-striving on the mat (for instance, accepting where you are in a pose instead of cranking yourself beyond your abilities), I could apply those principles off the mat. So after subbing out my classes for the first two weeks, I started teaching again, and am trying to be OK with the fact that my teaching is only verbal right now (as opposed to demonstrating poses the first time), and I can’t get around to make as many adjustments to my students. Would I rather be able to demo and assist? Um…YES! But is it OK that I’m not? YES.

Similarly, I am trying to accept that my own practice can be a seated practice for right now and that’s OK too. So I’ve been doing what poses I can within my home practice, and finally, Sunday night, ventured out to my friend Diana’s fundraising class for animal rescue, where I spent the majority of the time in Child’s Pose with my foot elevated on a rolled blanket. Yes, this was pretty frustrating and I desperately wanted to jump up and be able to do a “normal” practice, but I also think it does a soul good to be humbled once in a while.

So that’s the latest. Any thoughts? What have been your experiences with injuries? How have you dealt mentally/physically?

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