the truth hurts

i’m 47.

i know it’s generally not smiled upon for a woman to shout her age to the hilltops, but smile away. there are things i can control in this life–my attitude, my diet, my practice–and there are things i can’t. aging is way up there with the things i can’t.

honestly, i wear my age as a badge of pride. at 47, i have an intensive daily two-hour practice that few practitioners half my age could keep up with. very few.

that’s the point of pride. (i know pride is a deadly sin…but i’m not dead yet.)

and here’s the point that hurts: everything.

overall, i am someone with a tremendous pain threshold and i work through everything. i believe the power of the mind is stronger than the power of the body and i know i have a damn powerful mind.

but here’s my reality of the past year…

i tore my right meniscus, i have tendonitis in both elbows, both of my biceps are experiencing inexplicable pain from elbow to shoulder, my shoulders are painfully tight, as are my upper back and neck, my left thumb is constantly strained/sprained, my entire right leg–all muscles and joints–are out of whack compensating for my knee, and my vision seems to be suddenly waning.

besides that, i’m perfect!

how has all this affected my practice?

not much.

the main things i have cut out of my practice (ironically) are child’s pose and virasana, as i can’t do the deep knee bends. and i have given up on my relentless pursuit of passasana (for the time being) for the same reason. but, overall, i believe i can do whatever i believe i can do. so, every day i am pushing my edges and finding new ones. every day i challenge myself to just kill it. move past the pain and into the depth of the practice…the control of the mind.

if i can be brutally honest, there have been a number of times in the past year that i thought my entire career was over. it’s hard for me to write that out loud, but the struggle is real. i want to teach forever. i want to be young forever. but forever is a mighty long time.

i talked to my doctor about it, trying to find a reason why everything seems to be breaking down at once. maybe a nervous disorder? autoimmune? musculoskeletal dysfunction? worse?

diagnosis: i’m just 47.


  1. Hema Shankar on August 29, 2019 at 2:00 am08

    enjoyed reading this article. Please come to india to teach.

    • Shana on August 29, 2019 at 2:00 am08

      Thank you! I do hope to teach in India one day!

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