While attending a session about ashram life, in August 2012, in Ganga Darshan, I fell down in the hall and broke my right wrist. The doctor in Munger put my wrist into a plaster and there, I was to do nothing for 3 weeks.
For a few days having a lot of free time in my room, I started to practise some pawanmuktasana mentally: mushtika bandhana (hand clenching), manibandha naman (wrist bending), manibandha chakra (wrist joint rotation). I was imagining my right wrist making these exercises perfectly and quite easily.
Back in Paris, the French doctor scanned and confirmed that I actually had two scaphoids fractured (two of eight small bones that make up the carp bones of the wrist). When I met Stéphane, a friend of mine and physiotherapist, he told me that after removing the plaster, I would need some rehabilitation sessions in order to regain the full capacity of my hand. “Do not worry, I’ll show you the exercises later on,” he said.
During the next two weeks, looking forward to be freed from the plaster I continued to practise pawanmuktasana mentally. Then without cast, I continued to practise pawanmuktasana but this time physically and synchronized with breathing.
A week later I met Stéphane again. I showed him all the movements that my joints could do thanks to the daily exercises of yoga. “I can’t believe it! This is the result that one can have after three months of physiotherapy!” He didn’t know about yoga. I showed him various practices of pawanmuktasana and all that I had done. “Very interesting,” he said, “I have nothing better to suggest to you, you know more than I do!”
I laughed and said, “Yes, you could advise your patients to do the same, but then you would have fewer patients!”
“Do not worry about me, most people prefer to pay and meet me for support during the rehabilitation sessions, have some massage and if necessary take a pill or two, rather than being prescribed to do simple exercises at home themselves.”
Needless to say, after less than three weeks, I had recovered the full flexibility of all my wrist joints.
Three years later, in December 2015, once again, in the old kitchen of Munger, I slipped on the floor. I felt great pain in my right wrist again. I went to see the radiologist who said that the radius was broken and assured me that no trace of the former fracture could be seen. He put my wrist into a bigger plaster.
Back in the ashram, I started the exercises which had been so successful the previous time. One month later, I could perform chakrasana, the wheel pose, a posture which requires flexibility and strength of both wrists. This shows:
1.The effect of pawanmuktasana on the inner power of our self-healing;
2.The powerful effect of manomaya kosha on annamaya kosha through awareness and prana.
Thinking of my friend Stéphane, I am reminded that many things can be bought in the world but not yoga. We should feel, live, deepen, activate yoga in all our being and by integrating it everywhere, just let it be . . .