Injuries are a great teacher of patience. No matter what physical activity you pursue, at some time you may suffer from some injury. What I love about Ashtanga Yoga is that you can usually modify in some way in order to keep practicing. Certainly, there are cases when time off is much needed for healing, but with most minor injuries, you can modify your Ashtanga practice so that you can keep practicing to breathe, be attentive, patience, persistent, calm, and focused while still maintaining some strength and flexibility.
When I needed hand surgery to repair a cut tendon, all I could think about was losing my Yoga practice. Being persistent and committed to my practice though, I was able to still practice Ashtanga – even with a cast and a splint. For months, I had to modify sun salutations and all vinyasas until I could once again use my arm. Still, I had limited wrist movement, but I continued to practice a modified Ashtanga five days a week. Looking back now, those four months seemed like such a short time.
So if you are injured, don’t despair. Be patient as you heal. Remember the impermanence of the injury, and remember the importance of maintaining your practice.