Falling Down & Yama

On Yama

At the start of week 2, I injured my index finger falling out of Sirsasana wrongly. This would’ve put me out of arm balances (at least) for the next few days. It made me a little disappointed because I was hoping to pick up speed, strength and intensity from the second week onwards. What further left me feeling a little ‘FOMO’ was the fact that there was going to be an advanced pose class coming up which would include the teaching of various arm balances that I have been struggling to learn on my own for the past few months, or even year!


Hence, the night before the said arm balances class, I thought to myself – since I can’t do much physical practice today, let me still try to be productive and revise some yoga theory so that I can compensate for my physical practice more in the following week.


The first topic – Yama. The yogic way of life management and boy, am I glad I studied it one more time. Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha. The two that really spoke to me in this circumstance was Ahimsa and Aparigraha.


For Ahimsa, the practice of non-violence both to yourself and others reminded me of taking care of my body (my sprained index finger) and not be too caught up with trying to keep up with the advanced class that was coming up. Prior to revising the passage on Ahimsa, I was tempted to just go ahead with trying out with the arm balances in class the next day, no matter how my finger was feeling. I could not miss out and I wanted to learn. I psyched myself into thinking that this finger injury wasn’t really a big deal and that it will be fine. However, upon revising the passage on Ahimsa, I realised that in practicing yoga, I should fundamentally not do self-violence – that is, not injure myself more in the practice for the sake of performing the practice. Trying to perform a complex asana when my body is physically unable to is going against this principle of yoga and wouldn’t it be ironic if I pressed on? Upon reading that, I felt stupid for being so bent on performing the arm balances that I forgot about the core, even more important principle behind it.


This thus leads to Aparigraha – the non-possessiveness of… things. Like Master Sree gave as an example during his class, this includes the non-possessiveness of postures. I was being possessive of mastering the posture and continuously practicing the postures that I already knew, so much so that I forgot about this core principle!


Anyway, being someone who tends to get extremely irritated when things get in my way, especially for things that I see will bring me improvement, in a sense, I’m glad this finger sprained happened. It’s time I learnt to let go and get over it!