Did I hurt my ‘image’ by sharing about my pain?

My Meditative Moments – Photo by Manish Doshi

I shared about my recent knee pain here and how I used it as an opportunity for deeper healing. Since then I have had quite a few conversations with curious and also concerned friends. I was encouraged by one of them to write this part 2 for my post “Liquid Gold” Following are some of the questions/comments I received along with my responses.

Why do you share about your pain publicly? Doesn’t it hurt your image as a healthy yoga teacher, and affect your business?

I do not have a brand to create in this moment, if at all, I am the brand for who and how I am. If there is any public image I strive for, it would be one of authenticity. I am in the business of creating myself in the truest expression of my spirit, and I facilitate that process for my students to the extent they would choose to go. I am a good coach to help someone identify what it is in their way & reach their goals with clarity, if we are a good match to each other.

I am as curious as you are, if my approach creates a well paying business for myself. I am open to discovering it. I forever keep pushing the edges of my skills, courage and vulnerability, and will keep showing up with all that I have in the moment. The results come abundantly in ways we are open to receiving, and that can look different for each one of us. I refuse to create an image of that which I am not in my being and becoming.

You practice yoga every day and also teach people, then how come you have such knee pain suddenly?

I am a human first, then a teacher, practitioner and everything else. Yoga practice does not give me a pain-free pass through life. It gives me the ability to become present to the pain and find a positive skillful way of being through it, and maybe out of it. It gives me the capacity to discern clearly, where is the pain coming from – is it purely physical, or is it also from some stagnant emotions? Is it being inflicted and accumulated from some mental belief that has us make certain choices repeatedly? Often pain has deeper roots than we can imagine.

I am skilled at facilitating this process for others, designing practices that help them become aware of their own body, mind, emotion patterns, and replace them with more aligned, balanced patterns.

I am a bit worried about you, Pragalbha. Are you taking health risks by treating yourself with yoga & spiritual stuff? Do these affirmations and all work for you because you are really specially spiritual or are you really doing something scientific?

This is in no way to replace expert medical advise (which I did take). I simply believe I have absolutely contributed to whatever pain emerges in my body, and so I need to be of equal or more contribution to my recovery from pain. Sometimes there are perspectives and choices that are needed in addition and for any medicine to take sustained effect.

While my doctor focused on the inflammation aspect of my pain, I focused on lengthening my spine with postural yoga to relieve strain on my knee joint, using my breath to keep my mind calm & clear, and other ways to clear out emotions like fear, inflexibility, anger, resentment that tend to create stiffness and pain in joints. In my case, my knee needed help to allow me to move forward literally and in life. I still have some lingering moments of pain coming back, reminding me that I am falling back into my old patterns. Pain is a very intelligent medium that helps us by its presence, until we heal wholly, deeply and fully. I am in touch with my expert medical practitioner for advice as needed.

Yoga is a science and practice of Being. It helps us get skilled at Being through circumstances without added stresses like fear or worry for example. It helps us get through difficult situations with much more ease, without anything become a major impediment. We are able to function in ways that otherwise might not have become possible. I have seen countless examples of this in students that I work with, be it physical pain or other stresses of life. And of course, I hope to keep sharing my personal journey with honesty.

P.S. If you liked this article, you might like the poem Questions Answered that I wrote back in 2017.

Liquid Gold

Sunrise photo by my son Sanved Doshi

Sunrise & Sunsets are Magical Moments
And the one at the ocean
Is that liquid gold beauty
That invokes Gratitude naturally

My heart is filled with the fluid gold of Gratitude. I returned from my travel, a trip to Hawaii islands that seemed like it wasn’t meant to happen and then it was exactly what was supposed to happen.

Just one week before my trip, I suffered from a ‘bad’ knee that had me unable to walk or move for 3 days. While the doctors might talk about ligaments and what not, I went into deep communication with my knee, asking my body what it needed from me.

I have been holding multiple other life journeys in my heart, making me unable to move forward. My knees were telling me to keep moving ahead, and not carry so much of the heavy load, it wasn’t mine to carry. I serve better by living the lightness and the joy available to me, so I know, yet my mind felt selfish as if having to leave life and people behind, if I were to break out of more personal barriers.

My knees were holding a lot – they were stuck with much pain, grief, anger, even traces of resentment that I wasn’t willing to look at. The only way out of anything is Through. I have been there, done that before – this time it was my ‘intelligent’ knee that made me pause, look, feel, and let go.

I equipped myself with the following affirmations that I repeated to myself during the 6 hour flight and my daily barefoot walks in the earthly sand for at least an hour.

I release any inflexibility & fear I have stored in my knees.
I release any lack of ease I have stored in my knees.
I release any shock & resistance I have stored in my knees.
I release any anger & stubbornness I have stored in my knees.
I release any irritation & stress I have stored in my knees.
I release any excess responsibility & pressure I have stored in my knees.
I release any conflict & spiritual turmoil I have stored in my knees.
I joyfully release all that old stuff.

It is safe to surrender now.
I feel safe and flexible moving forward now.
I feel so supported and secure now.
It is easy to forgive the past and go with the flow now.
It is easy to stand up for myself now.
My knees are strong, stable, healthy.
I am perfectly aligned and embrace change easily.
I move forward with confidence and joy.

With every breath I take I send love, gratitude and healing to my knees and every single cell in my body.

I practiced deep long breaths and spine lengthening postures every day to release any stress on the lower extremity joints.

I went to the airport limping and I came back from my trip absolutely pain free. We planned for this trip only 3 days in advance when I felt very certain that it was in perfect alignment for moving forward. My knee wanted me to move through the pain, and the pain kept receding each day as I consciously worked through what my body needed and spirit guided.

Each day, each moment is an unknown unimagined miracle into another – last 2 weeks were as exquisitely amazing as much as how arduous the work might feel to dive in to the depths of our inner and outer journeys, finding our way through it all.

Myself at Sunrise, Photo by my husband Manish Doshi

The ocean has this magical ability to drink up all the tired unrelenting waves of my being and replenish with relentless, refreshed, playful, peaceful ones. My heart is filled with the fluid gold of Gratitude for all the abundance, joy, support and guidance available to me.