Presentations for our thesis’ have begun as of today. (I’m presenting tomorrow on migraines). Today’s topic, stroke, led onto many important discussions. Firstly, yoga can offer wonderful benefits to a stroke patient, helping them to regain motor movements etc. But bigger than that, is the person’s ability to challenge their mind and learn to believe in their own ability to become stronger - regardless of illness, disease, injury.
This is a fundamental problem, not only in yoga, but in life. When looking at yoga specifically, people are often so fearful they will hurt themselves (myself included - don’t get me wrong). This fear stems from a lack of belief in ones own ability to do something, Chakrasana for example. But this fear stops people from reaching heights they never thought imaginable. “We are what we think.” This so important for people to remember. If we think we are ill, we are ill; if we think we are depressed or anxious, then we are depressed or anxious; if we think we have chronic back pain and will never be able to do Sirsasana - guess what, you never will and the pain will follow you everywhere you go. I’ve been there. Believe me. And it’s something I have to work on daily (in various areas). But it’s through a willingness to learn and trust the body that the monumental benefits of this practice can help people. When looking into illnesses or diseases, these are so many problems in the world which could be cured just from a more positive frame of mind (yoga aside).
My teacher was run over by a bus at age 19, with 36 passengers on it. He spent 44 days on his back in the hospital unable to move at all. He was told his yoga days were over. He was also told that if he didn’t agree to have surgery on his shattered left thigh (which had tyre marks on it for months later apparently) or shit shattered left ankle, then he would lose his legs. My teacher knew he could heal his own body - it’s ever changing. We have a completely new body every 200 days, and he knew this. He also knew he would return to yoga no matter what it took. Other than his legs and ankle, he had severe sciatica, slipped disc in his back, dislocated knee and also damaged left shoulder. Today, he experiences no pain. My teacher, Bharath, is now a world leading practitioner who travels all over to teach at international events. Here, I watch him fly into asanas which I dream to do one day. His strength, flexibility and stillness of the mind is inspirational, and this story is a fantastic example of what can be achieved if we want it enough. Remember - “we are what we think”
My commitment to myself is to always; challenge myself, think positively and let go of the fear. Infinite possibilities are on the otherside. For me, this is truly living.
Life in Gokulam, Mysore