How 'Kintsugi' can help us embrace yoga injuries

Julie Garrido sees unhappy man nursing yoga injury to shoulder as ideal time to pratice Kintsugi for self-care and recovery
Yoga injuries are no fun, but we can learn a lot from the Japanese art of restoring pottery.

Injuries can be a real pain (pardon the pun) and can sometimes totally get in the way of our yoga practice. Even a simple muscle pull can spoil our time on the mat, especially if we carry on regardless as it can often turn into something far worse.

When an injury really does compromise our practice, it can seem like the end of the world. It may mean we have to avoid certain poses in order to protect the injury, or worse still, we have to skip practice altogether.

I sustained a wrist injury earlier this year; having fallen down some stone steps whilst on a yoga retreat….and no, I wasn’t drunk. This halted a large part of my practice for weeks. Months later, I’m still conscious of its weakness and have to wear a wrist support when it niggles. My biggest fear is that it will never heal properly, and it might always be a weak spot.

However, with such injuries we can learn a lot from Kintsugi - the Japanese art of putting broken pieces of pottery back together by using liquid gold. By highlighting the imperfections in this way, they turn the broken piece into a piece of pottery that’s unique, stronger and more beautiful.

And it’s the same with our injuries. I’m not suggesting that we paint them with gold (although that would be nice), but when it comes to healing ourselves, we should embrace any injuries and challenges as part of our yoga journey. Kintsugi shows us that we should wear our golden scars with pride. When we re-emerge restored from our injury, our body may not feel quite the same, but we tend to come out the other side much stronger for it.

We can learn so much from the experience too; such as patience, acceptance, understanding and resilience. I know I have. Not only has it helped my practice by having to learn modifications for certain poses, it has improved my teaching too.

If you have an injury and need some help with your yoga practice, don’t despair. Give us a call and we can help you get back on your yoga mat feeling even better than before.

If you are going through menopause and would like to know how yoga can help, click the link below to obtain a copy of my FREE e-book . This demonstrates a selection of yoga poses that bring relief to menopausal symptoms. Whilst some are restorative, others are energy boosting or focus specifically on symptoms such as hot flashes.

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