I taught a 7 days yoga&hike retreat in Ticino, up the hills of beautiful Malcantone, in April. The retreat was sold out, we had 15 participants. On the first round of introducing I found out that there were two ladies in their 50/60ties, both with ankle and feet injury, one on the left side, the other on the right side.
They didn’t came together to the retreat, but had already met in the train and had a good laugh when they told me about their very similar stories: injury, long treatments with medication, physiotherapy, they were both using an anklet, and to both, someone had told they should try yoga. Ah, and of course they where total beginners!
After the first Asana practice, I went to see them and we found adjustments with blankets or rolling up the mat for the most common poses like Adho Mukha Svanasana, Plank, Balasana, Bhujangasana, etc. They were both smiling and looked very relaxed. The week went on, from time to time I asked them how it was going and was always getting smiles and very good feedbacks.
I did not particularly prepared sequences targeting the ankle and feet, but made sure to repeat basic feet alignment principles and kept a close eye on them. They stayed with it, never missing a class.
At the end of the week both came to talk to me, on different moments, and both told me that thanks to the yoga days they could finally feel ease and less pain, more strength, more balance and, most of all, more trust in their own healing powers. I was touched and in the same time almost surprised. I did not expect we could get so much work done in just one week.
I am so thankful for their trust, in me and in yoga, during the week. I am sure it was that trust, that open and smiling state, that gave them the perfect ground to tap into the healing powers of the practice. They came to the retreat with a real beginners mind, open to what would happen, but also not having any type of expectation. They where just there to see what would happen.
And this is something we can all learn about, the more we stay open, with a beginners mind, in our approach to the practice and the work, even if we are doing yoga since more than a decade, the more we will get out of it and will be surprised from the results.