You never stop learning that you never stop learning.
I have been practicing yoga for eight years and, for about a year, have also been teaching. Listening to my body and attending to my own self are are by now mostly intuitive, a part of my daily life—indeed they are very much my way of approaching life in general.
Or at least I thought so.
One Friday not long ago I returned from a twelve-day work trip to Thailand. It was a beautiful experience, though equally challenging, with several unforeseen events. Easter weekend continued apace, with multiple duties for Ristorante Battaglino. At the end of the second work day, I took myself home, urgently want to do two rather contradictory things: lie down and go running. I had little time, given that 90 minutes later I was to meet up with two friends for aperitivo.
Ultimately, I chose to unroll my yoga mat (next to the suitcase that I hadn’t had the time to unpack) and after maybe one sun salutation, I launched myself into a series of inversions, a recent passion. Various versions of sirsasana and pincha mayurasana, some against the wall, and then, because I still hadn’t had quite enough, a quick transition from bakasana to kapalasana.
An electric shock ran from my cervical vertebrae to my left shoulder, forcing an end to my very not-yogic yoga session. A miserable night followed, and finally at 7:00 am I took myself to the emergency room. There, I fortunately discovered I had “only” given myself a major muscular contracture.
Since even peeing turned out to be a highly complex set of movements, I was forced to take four days of complete rest. It also forced me to the realization that just being still was what I needed from the first day home after my trip. I turned off my phone, didn’t check email, and took care of myself. I simply enjoyed lying on the couch, watching movies, and doing nothing else.
My lesson? Listen to your body, Ale, always. Keep listening, and then keep listening harder.
You never stop learning that you never stop learning. (But I’m still holding on to my passion for inversions!)