Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Aha!


Have a look at them wrists. Now you may think I am putting you on, but that really is the furthest that I can rotate my forearm in. If you look at Michelle, on the right, you will see that, with a big smile, she gets a range of movement I could never dream of. I have been testing everyone since the penny dropped that this could be causing my wrist pain, and I have yet to see anyone who is as limited as me in this particular area.

It's just a little unfortunate that I didn't figure this out, or get told, earlier. I mean, I have only been struggling with wrist pain for a decade! So why would it matter? Well, I basically can't get my hands flat on the mat in any arm balances, including downward dog, upward dog, caturanga, vasisthasana and so on and on. The only way for me to flatten my palm into the mat is to round my shoulders - OK in downward dog, impossible in upward dog. Hence, the pain. This is why it got worse with my Ashtanga practice; because there are just so many of those poses, and I was grinding into the bones of my wrist to try to make them happen. Ask Paul Grilley, it is a bone thing, not a strength or flexibility thing!

It is a relief to know why, but dealing with the loss of something is always a little tricky on the ego. Goodbye forever, handstand. Hello again, forearm balance and dolphin!

One of the other side effects of the ongoing pain is this: I am nervous about attending group classes because I am afraid of being forced past my body's limits. It has happened a lot in the past. So for now, most of my asana practice is at home. And for those of you who come to my classes, if I show any signs at all of becoming one of those teachers, please tell me! Or beat me over the head, that'll get the message across.

11 comments:

Linda (Sama) said...

YES, YOGA IS ALL IN THE BONES! that should be every yoga teacher's mantra! that's the light bulb that went off over my head when I began studying with Paul four years ago....

We did that same "test" the last time I was with him and my wrists rotate at some freakish degree...as do my hips. I am always the example of "extreme internal hip rotation" in his workshops....people usually gasp and only a few have passed out! :)

FYI, Paul and Sarah Powers will be doing a training together at a Taoist healing center in Thailand end of 2008...mark your calendars...I'm there!

Lisa said...

My niece has this issue with her wrists and gets some relief in some postures by using that foam wedge, I don't know the name of it.

Anyway, this is a bummer. Really, though, I think it's important to realize that none of us will ever do yoga the same as the person next to us! You're only forced past your body's restrictions if you let yourself be!! :)

Kimberly Palmer said...

I just had to add... I love the pose you're doing in the photo underneath your profile.

Nadine Fawell said...

Hi ladies! Thanks for the comments.
Linda, that 2008 training sounds VERY interesting - I might have to look into it...
Lisa, thank you for the foam wedge suggestion! It is really good to know that there are a few people out there with this issue. I have used slant boards and they help a bit, but not always.
And Kimberly! Thank you. I love that pose too, although it probably isn't a 'real'asana (not that there is such a thing.)

Linda (Sama) said...

by the way, nadine...by "freakish degree" I mean that when I rotate as you are showing in your pic, my palm is almost facing the ceiling!

now if I had shoulders like my hips and the rest of me, I'd be in Cirque d'Soleil...according to Paul! :)

oh my god, I can't do upward plank pose because of my shoulders! horrors! I'm a failure as a yogi!

Nadine Fawell said...

Tee hee! Not as much of a failure as me, I am SO a bigger failure than you! (Gotta retain the competitive edge wherever I can...)

Regina Clare Jane said...

Thanks for this post, Nadine! It so relates to what happened to me! Yin yoga has been the only yoga I have been able to practice since I got back from that workshop, because it's just soothing for me right now. It's respectful of where my body is, not where it isn't and never will be because of my bone structure through my thoracic spine...
Thank you, thank you, thank you...

Nadine Fawell said...

Hi Regina! I think I have just been inspired to post about the issue of attainment yoga. Thank you!

Total Health Yoga - Kris Kramer said...

I've heard the asana (below your profile) called the mermaid. Not sure why... maybe its grace.
Kris

ombites (mary) said...

It's so cool that you can look at yourself and come to acknowledge and eventually accept your limitations, even as a teacher!

I often get a little deflated in class when I can't do something but I am still a beginner. I wonder if maybe, there are some poses that will never be right for me either? I have trouble with my hips and still can not go into a full lunge from downward dog. I have to always help my foot foward in between my hands. Some days this frustrates me but my teacher tells me it will come. What if it doesn't? I'll keep practicing hey.

Linda (Sama) said...

"I wonder if maybe, there are some poses that will never be right for me either?"

not maybe, dear, definitely. EVERYONE has poses that they will never be able to do, because of their BONE STRUCTURE. Just an anatomical fact.

The key is developing a yin/yang attitude: yang is changing what we can change, yin is accepting what we can not change, and celebrating our limitations, and not letting our limitations define us.