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When a yoga teacher puts her back out

Three weeks ago I sneezed. I sneezed so violently, that one of the discs in my lower back (L5) moved. And I was instantly incapacitated. I couldn't stand up. I was stuck on my hands and knees and was envisioning myself there for the foreseeable future. I have heard of people putting their back out of course, but have never experienced it myself.

I had a chuckle to myself at the irony of a yoga teacher putting her back out. And I knew that I had to immediately surrender to the experience if I was to get back onto my feet.

I knew from my training that the back is the strongest part of the body. And that 90% of back problems are from bad posture and weak muscles. Which is excellent news, because it is actually really easy to resolve back problems. It just takes learning how to take care of the body and the spine in particular. And then to actually implement those learnings!

I knew that I had to keep moving, as lying still for too long when you have a back problem makes the muscles cease up. It is important for the blood and cerebrospinal fluid to flow - the body is designed to move. I had not been taking the best care of my back. I had been doing a lot of sitting at the computer, which is terrible for our posture. I had not been sleeping enough, because we had just bought a new house.

This was terribly exciting for me and was keeping me up at night, as we were deciding whether to place an offer on the house, the anticipation of our offer being accepted and the emotional release I had been holding inside from being a gypsy for 12 years.

We moved to Australia over 12 years ago and have moved house approximately every 2 years during that time. The moves happened for various reasons (including an interstate move and then back to our original state!) but when we moved back to Melbourne 2 years ago, I told Sohail that I was done with moving. I was ready to settle. I was craving placing down roots and taking care of a piece of land.

My journey of healing with Hashimoto's brought me so much gratitude for nature and her ability to heal us, as my healing came from nature. I have been wanting to take care of a piece of land ever since. I want to say thank you to nature by growing organic food, flowers and trees. I want to give to the earth, I want to create an incredibly beautiful place that is a haven for birds, bees, butterflies and all the creatures, great and small. And this desire has been blooming in me for years and has really taken hold in the last 2 that we have been in a rental since we moved back to Melbourne.

So, when my back went, it went because I released all this latent creative energy that has been building within me for all these years. It has been a joyful release, a release of energy that has been stuck and has been wanting to express itself for a long time. I knew this immediately, so I never felt upset about pulling my back.

I knew that I needed the time to rest and to integrate. I am like most people who love to be busy - I move from one activity to the next and often forget to digest it. This understanding of digestion is understood in Ayurveda when we talk about eating food, but it is much broader than this. We are digesting our experiences all the time. And Ayurveda encourages us not to eat too much and to give time and space for our Agni to digest what we consume.

I rested in bed for a few days, doing gentle twists and stretches as I was able. Once I was able to walk a bit, I went to the chiropractor, who put my disc back in place. I was then able to actively follow a more comprehensive yoga program to rebalance my back muscles which involved twists and forward bends.

I applied Traumeel to my back. This is a homeopathic ointment that reduces inflammation and is excellent for muscle and joint pain. I used MagPhos tissue salts. I also applied frankincense, cypress and arborvitae essential oils and diffused them too.

And I went for reiki healing with the lovely Carmen to rebalance myself on an energetic level.

Once I became more mobile, I spent as much time as possible in my garden, letting nature do her magic and realign my nervous system.

I am mostly back to myself, although my energy is not where it was before. I am going slow and allowing myself the joy of packing up my life in this lovely home we have had for 2 years. Life is always on our side, even when things happen that appear to be against us.

We have many tools available to us, and I hope that my journey has inspired you, if you are going through a challenging time. There is always hope. If you need support, remember that I am available for mentoring.

Even yoga teachers put their backs out. Our experiences shape who we become. The key is to embrace all the experiences of life. I have been reminded once again of the power of gentleness, rest, nature, movement and acceptance.

I would love to hear of an experience you have had that has brought you unexpected blessings.

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