Never Say Never
BYCer Lawrence shares his Bikram journey
Following a motorcycle accident in 1986, my left arm was partially paralysed, through nerve damage (the radial nerve had been severed in the upper arm). There were extensive multiple fractures to the upper arm, wrist and elbow.
The elbow initially had no available movement but, following surgery, it could be bent and straightened to a very limited extent. Following surgery to my wrist, I had limited motion with this also.
I had intensive treatment and made a recovery from the nerve damage, surprising the specialists at St Thomas’ hospital. I gradually recovered from the paralysis but, until my last class, I have generally excused myself from trying to place my hands in the desired position for the Locust posture and had come to regard this as ‘impossible’.
Something made me want to go for it during my last class and I was thrilled to be able to do the pose, albeit imperfectly (there was a bit of scrunching around under my body as my hand/wrist tried to comply). But the arm went straight enough to go under my body and I could feel its strength, which allowed the other to join, and experience itself fully! My legs felt like they floated into the air. It meant such a lot to me, spiritually, physically and emotionally.
So, I guess if I were to write something to encourage other students to never say never, it would go something like this:
‘Through the inspirational encouragement of an excellent teacher who made the time to give me individual attention and support, I experienced a number of breakthroughs, including new-found flexibility and strength in an arm severely damaged in a motorcycle accident many years ago. I am very grateful to Bikram Chiswick and its wonderful teachers.’