I don’t get sick often. I like to say I don’t get sick EVER, but feeling under the weather can happen from time to time. And, I am the worst sick person you likely will ever meet for the first two or three days of whatever is ailing me. Why? Because I refuse to admit I’m sick. I ignore it, won’t talk about it, secretly whisper to my body behind closed doors so my husband can’t hear, “Can you please get rid of this thing for me???” all the while looking positively wrecked, green, and pinched through the face in that good-god-I’m-horribly-sick way that under the weather people look.
And, Jeffrey, having gone through this with me time and again throughout the course of our marriage is absolutely frustrated with me by day three of my shenanigans, saying, “You are sick and need to take a break. Why can’t you just admit it?”
Which then always leads to that moment where I tearfully admit how wretched I feel, pouring myself into the warmest clothes I can find and hiding, pitifully under a stack of blankets, Vitamin C and tissues next to me at all times. And, ALWAYS, at this point, the unexpected happens. I feel much better just in admitting that I am actually sick.
Acceptance is the quickest route towards healing. Read that again.
You cannot heal if you are fighting against something. If it’s you against the sickness or the injury, you have created a battle and someone has to win. And, that is why acceptance is the biggest key to success in your yoga practice. You must accept where you are on any given day to understand where you would like to go.
For those of you that know my story and my battle with disordered eating, it wasn’t until I accepted my body for everything it is and for everything it isn’t that I started to heal. It was no longer me against my body. We, instead, became a team. My body has always taken care of me, despite the abuses I put it through, and I decided to care for it with as much kindness and gratitude as I could for the amazing gift that it is.
The same could be said for my injured hip. It wasn’t until I expressed gratitude for my hip and decided I no longer wanted to push through it as an obstacle during my time on the mat, but rather heal it, that the healing began. What a year this has been! My hip feels almost brand new. It wasn’t easy. It was humbling to back off where normally I would surge forward, but the process was worth it.
I’m often asked how I deal with the ups and downs of a devoted, way beyond a decade on the mat, yoga practice. The answer is this: I accept whatever the practice is that day for what it is. It is a practice for how to live my life.
There will be days that not everything goes the way I want it to. That’s okay. That doesn’t mean my life is falling apart, I’m a bad person, or I need to dive into being the victim of my circumstances. I do the best I can, and am grateful to be where I am – on and off the mat.
There are days where everything is clicking into place. That doesn’t mean my life is better than anyone else’s, that I’m a grand person, or that I have zero challenges in my life. I do the best I can, and am grateful to be where I am – on and off the mat.
If you never accept where you are, you don’t have a chance in moving forward, in healing, or in taking the next step. Acceptance is the key to finding yourself interested and evolving on your mat, and in the great gift that is your one and only life.
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