So I Taught a Class with a Bark Collar

Ok. It’s not really a bark collar, but that’s what I have decided to call it. I have officially donned a skin-tone Philadelphia neck brace for the past ten days. It almost feels like it's part of me now. Funny how that happens. I had an artificial disc insertion & anterior cervical discectomy. In plain English, I had my disc removed and a metal one put in. A week after surgery, I was scheduled to teach a yoga class. Here in Mexico, the doctors are very conservative, so I have been advised to wear the bark collar for four weeks. On that faithful Tuesday and for the solid 48 hours prior, I played What should I do?  You know, the game where you go through a bunch of scenarios and place should and shouldn’t on specific ones because of what other people think. And I don’t normally use, “should.” But I did, without even realizing it.
Should I even teach the class? Should I take the collar off? Should i wear it for one and then take it off for the second? Is having had an artificial disc insertion following anterior cervical discectomy non-yogic? Am I setting a bad example? Will I even be able to teach a class with this thing on?
And so it went. I chose to teach the class with the bark collar on despite my fears that people might think, she’s ridiculous to be doing that, wearing that. I chose to focus on my students and not on the new addition to my neck. I chose to come back to the one intention that threads it’s way through all of my classes; fun. I chose to be for my students, in as much as I could be, on that faithful Tuesday. And this is what I was able to receive. One of my third graders joined in my second class.  Little feet on a yoga mat makes my heart flutter. One student was able to connect her hands for the first time in eagle. And she was concerned that she would miss Thursday’s class for a wedding. A new student and great friend tried my class for the first time.  And she said she’d be back even after not being able to raise her arm to wave hello the following morning. One student stayed for both classes back-to-back. And she was tired. The construction workers that were up on the scaffold behind the class, tripled. I am sure they are going to break out Warrior Two one of these days. We laughed. We had fun. Yoga ASFThere’s a Mark Twain quote that I love. He says, “I’ve had a lot of trouble in my life, most of which never happened.” If we can learn to be, and really be, with what we have at every given moment, we will see, that most often, it is more than enough.  If we come from can and will, rather than shouldn’t and couldn’t, we can give opportunity and will give power. One thing I learned for sure, if you’re going to have to wear a bark collar, you may as well rock it out. Namaste.
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I have a question, actually. Have you ever taught a student who had a knee replacement? I used to practice yoga daily, years ago, and find that I miss it. I recently had a total knee replacement and wondered if you knew of a program of modified poses to accommodate an artificial knee. Thank you in advance, and I love the bark collar story! Sometimes you just gotta howl – no matter who’s watching! It’s very primal and empowering. Of course my dog thinks I’m nuts. :-)

Mary on October 14, 2017

Perfect!! You should be proud.

S-Ron on April 24, 2015

Love this!! “If we can learn to be…it is more than enough.” how true is that my friend, how true is that! (probably stealing! ha)

Sara on April 24, 2015

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