Thirteen years ago I injured my shoulder while carrying Avery, my daughter. As such I haven’t been able to do everything that my mind tells me my body can do … and there is no place more obvious to me about this fact than when I’m in yoga.
Each time I’m on my mat, I am surrounded by athletes. Hardcore athletes. Let me clarify and share that I love yoga classes that kick my butt, which means that I choose the classes that often feel more like boot camp than a yoga class. My body loves it, except of course my shoulder.
I’ve learned over the years how important it is for me to listen to my body and listen to my shoulder. When I don’t, my shoulder gets mad at me – really mad at me.
But over time, I have found myself reflecting on the extraordinary friend my shoulder has become to me and how much I appreciate and learn from having it be injured in the precise way that it is.
When the person next to me is squatting holding heavy weights above their head, the group is in tandem knocking out pushups, yogis are in poses with their arms wrapped around their legs or balancing with their weights on their shoulders or it’s time for handstands and everyone is upside down… and well, I can’t, and it’s humbling.
My shoulder forces me to do it my way and discover my own authentic expression of the pose or exercise.
It forces me to modify and switch up the drill.
It forces me to be different and not follow the crowd (and be ok with it).
It forces me to not care about what others are thinking about me.
It forces me to recognize that my sense of worth has nothing to do with being able to get into the pose or be the best in the class.
Instead, my shoulder helps me to be present and listen to myself.
It helps me embrace who I am, limitations and all. It helps me become more mindful about my movements, what my body needs and to simply observe the parts that want to be able to do more.
So to my shoulder, thank you!
Is there a part of your body that connects you to your authentic self or helps you embrace who you are?