Monday, December 04, 2006

The Problem with Pain

The thing about pain, is, well, it just doesn't go away. Unless you fix what caused it, of course. I am currently working with an old hamstring injury, caused in the bad old overstretching days and exacerbated by too much teaching - demonstrating yoga poses is really not yoga, since I am generally speaking rather than breathing while doing the poses.

So I have a tender hamstring, and currently have to do forward bends with bent legs and a great deal of awareness. Yes, this is how I should always be practicing. And injury is a great reminder of that, and also a reminder to bring the principles of yoga into everything - including and especially teaching yoga. Funny how we go off the rails from time to time.

As many of you know, I have just cut back dramatically on my class load, so that I can spend some time 'refilling the tank'. This too is a practice of yoga - listening to what you need and acting on that information. If your inner knowledge tells you something, try to listen - the cues usually start off subtly - in my case a fatigue I just couldn't shake, then they become more insistent - recurrence of injury, two days in bed sick.....

So now I have listened - better late than never. If you find your body or soul are sending you insistent messages about a change that needs to be made, now is the perfect time - an old year is drawing to its close and a new one's about to blossom. Make the changes. It's really not as scary as it seems - just like yoga.

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