Saturday, January 22, 2011

Practicing Tapas

It’s has been another frustrating week with the slow recovery of my elbow.  When I went for my treatment on Tuesday, the doctor did not do the acupuncture treatment and I was so happy as it meant that my elbow was healing. However, my elbow has been acting up again these past two days and I am afraid it is going to take a longer time for it to heal. I will be going for the follow-up treatment later today and hoping for the best.

Meanwhile, I have been spending my time reading blog posts and read a good one from Yoga Flavored Life about Patient Yoga.  Another post  from Kat Reiner about Intensity, Injury and  Transformation in Elephant Journal about how she has applied tapas in her yoga practice in a completely different perspective after she recovered from an injury has been an inspiration to me. 

Tapas means enthusiasm, excitement and discipline towards yoga or having an inner fire to be the best you can be while practicing yoga. Whilst this is good, some of us take it to mean that we must do those poses even when our body is not ready for them. We don’t listen to our body in our quest to seek perfection  We don’t’ take the time to ensure that we have learned the foundation and proper alignment of the poses and we risked injuries that will surface later in our life.  

Practicing tapas in yoga means doing the asanas with awareness, accepting the limitations of our body and finding ways to work around it like using a block to help us go deeper into the pose and letting go when we have reached our limit instead of pushing through even though our body is telling us to stop. Practicing tapas also means learning to face the challenges that often hinder us from maintaining a regular practice. Facing these challenges takes courage and discipline and will help us in our personal growth.  

Tapas is a yoga concept that can also be carried over to our daily life which is having an internal discipline that drives us forward by doing and giving our best in everything we do.

Self-respect is the fruit of discipline, the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself”- Rabbi Abraham Heschel .

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Open The Mind

This week marks the opening of My Yoga Sanctuary on 11 January 2011, the new studio where Azmi is teaching and where I will be continuing my yoga journey but I will have to wait for my elbow to be completely healed before I can go for classes there.   For someone who thrives on going to classes, this has been a frustrating week for me as  I was told by my doctor that I should not put any pressure on my elbow if I want to have a speedy recovery, so going to classes is out for me.   

I know that yoga is not about the asanas but not being able to do a full vinyasa practice has resulted in so many tight spots in my body.   Meanwhile, I have managed to find some video sequences that help to relieve some of the tightness in my body.   I love this 11-minute Kundalini Yoga sequence on Open The Mind from Yoga Today which was featured in The Everything Yoga Blog.

I have also signed up for Yoga Journal’s 21-day Yoga Challenge and have been receiving the newsletter emails on the daily challenge sequence. Watching the videos have given me more insights on the poses which will help me when I can go back to my full practice. I have customized some poses from the videos to suit my condition in my self-practice.   I am also hoping to take my practice deeper during this period by listening to the audio recordings on meditations, pranayama and philosophy featured in the 21-day Yoga Challenge.

"These days, my practice is teaching me to embrace imperfection: to have compassion for all the ways things haven’t turned out as I planned, in my body and in my life – for the ways things keep falling apart, and failing, and breaking down. It’s less about fixing things, and more about learning to be present for exactly what is." - Anne Cushman

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yoga and Wellness FB Page

I have created a Yoga and Wellness page on Facebook to share links on yoga asanas, interesting yoga blog posts and articles and discussion on yoga practice and teachings.  If you would like to receive notification whenever I post stuff on the page, please click LIKE on the page to join as a fan of my page.   Namaste.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Acceptance and Patience

I am learning this as I wait for the slow recovery of my tennis elbow. 

and at the same time, this is the virue that I need to have.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Using the Breath for Painfree Practice

This evening I went to my first yoga class for 2011. I have not been doing any yoga since last Friday after I started the acupuncture treatment for my tennis elbow. After going for the 2nd treatment yesterday, I decided to attend the Hatha class as I know there are no arm-balancing poses which might put pressure on the elbow.

At the start of the class when Azmi asked us to set our intention for the class, I set my intention to use my breath to take me through the practice. By focusing on my breath, I did not feel the pain at my right elbow as I did the poses. Overall, I had a good practice as the only time I felt some pain at the elbow was when I had to bind my hands in the Binding Triangle pose. After the mild discomfort, I find myself putting more awareness on how I should place my hands. Instead of doing inverted prayer in Warrior 3, I clasped my elbows to avoid twisting my hand.

Having attended today’s class, I know which poses I should avoid so as not to aggravate the pain in the elbow. I will not be going to any more classes for the rest of this week as I will be continuing the acupuncture treatment but will be doing a self-practice of restorative poses at home.

I would like to share this wonderful article from my teacher, Azmi Samdjaga on The Breath; A Discovery Of Who You Really Are. Please click the link to read. Namaste.