Eighteen years ago, when I was first diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hips, my ego got crushed like a stepped-on grape. I was convinced the diagnosis spelled career suicide for me as a yoga teacher. The words “hip replacement” filled me with dread and resistance.
Most of all, I didn’t want any yoga students to know about it.
In those days, I only wanted to present a healthy, ever-youthful image because that is what a yoga teacher is meant to be, isn’t it? I wasn’t ready to step down from the pedestal.
Woody Allen told this story about one of his ex-wives. When they were courting and first married, he placed her on a pedestal; then, when they divorced, he put her under the pedestal.
That’s the trouble with carrying people’s
projections: they become burdensome and entrap you.
As my arthritis became worse, I couldn’t carry anything heavy, like shopping bags (let alone people’s weighty projections).
I started to be more obviously dependent on others for assistance. This coincided with “outing” myself. I even wrote an article for a yoga magazine about me, yoga and arthritis.
The truth is that we all are going to be sick from tlime to time, maybe even get a disease, grow old and one day die.
That knowledge is a great platform (another word for pedestal) to stand on, because it’s the truth.
Yoga won’t save us but being faithful to the practices is undoubtably fruitful
as I can attest to in my rehabilitation period.
The exercises I’m doing are from the physiotherapists, but my mindset is from yoga. Just do the work.