Ten days and counting ‘till my next 100 hour teacher training session. I am cautiously optimistic about the progress I’ve made in healing from my latest injury. At this point, I’m trying to regain stability (on and off the mat) and rebuild strength. Of course it all boils down to a whole lot of self awareness.
Funny, I vaguely remember that “self awareness” was my little word(s) of the year. And where, you may ask, has that gotten me?
Well, I have certainly questioned the direction of my thought, words, and actions a lot this year. The process of trying to stay true to the “right path” – or discover it – has certainly brought me more awareness to areas that could use more of my attention. Even in navigating this injury, I have become more aware of just how valuable “right” thoughts, words, and actions can be.
Obviously, misinterpreting the body’s tightening as merely the result of emotional stress, therefore responding with more stretching and trying to push through it was a detrimental wrong action. But let’s take a look at thoughts: negative or positive, they have tremendous power. They can be the difference between curling up in a ball and crying it out (which I too have done), or figuring out who or what can help you.
Two wrongs certainly don’t make a right but… a few wrong mistakes can lead to a valuable lesson learned. Of course you have to learn from your mistake or it’s not quite the same. I’ve learned A LOT but I still have a lot yet to learn. If I never end up teaching yoga formally, I still think all of my yoga teacher training will help me to lead others in one way or another.
Therefore, as I pull things together for my upcoming training (carpool schedules, meals, reading, RECOVERY, etc.), I intend to do my best to maintain a clear sense of direction and positivity – even when I fall short in attaining my original goal. This is my path; it’s up to me to make it “right” [for me].
Let’s do it. Ten Days!!
Note: I’m still hoping that I will teach in the future.
Returning to the Mat
After being off the mat for about 4 weeks, I’m finding my way again…albeit slowly.
I desperately want to be back to where I left off (before my injury) but, fortunately, my body is sending very clear messages of when and where I can go. Well…maybe the messages aren’t so clear in where exactly I can go. However, it is very clear about where I cannot go.
I am immensely grateful that I can do any yoga at all. I am also thankful for the lessons in functional anatomy and alignment which this injury has provided me with. It should serve me and my future students well.
On Saturday, I completed the Sun Salutations A & B and all of the standing poses with the exception of Padangusthasana, Padanhastasana, and Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (per Dr. Pederson’s advice). I will be able to add these poses back in due time. I followed with Navasana (boat) x 3, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge) x 2, and just 1 Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel). I ended with a couple supine twists and Savasana.
In the end, body felt like it had worked yet I felt good that I had pushed myself in a safe manner. I rolled onto my side and proceeded to dedicate the benefits of my practice to my youngest son who’s football game would begin in less than an hour. After finishing up, I showered, dressed, and was on my way to his game.
I was given the green light to return to yoga. Actually, it is more like a flashing yellow light which me entering the intersection with caution. But still…
Dr. Pedersen, my chiropractor, reviewed the primary sequence with me. Together, we discussed an approach to utilize in my return to practice. The poses which should be skipped, at this point, and poses to pay close attention to pushing too far. Similar to my bout with SI issues in January, careful attention to limit spinal flexion (aka tailbone tucking) is the current game. In addition, special attention to supporting my spine with the aid of my bandhas is a must.
There’s just one problem…I seem to have misplaced them.
Believe me, once you experience the usefulness of bandhas in your yoga practice, you become hooked. For me, they are the glue that holds me together — attaching my stomach to my spine and providing a nice brace for safe movement. The marionette like lifting that they provide is also nice (however I am still learning how to harness my strings to the ceiling for floaty jump-backs and jump-throughs).
Since they are so essential, I am asking for some help. Knowing that I am limited in my ability to launch into a full practice, and that I cannot allow a lot of spinal flexion until I have fully engaged my abdominals, if you have any tips on strengthening them, please share in the blog comments section immediately following this post.
If letting go was easy
I’ve heard it said that Fall is a good time of year to let go. Just as the trees shed their leaves, thereby making room for new growth in Spring, letting go of worries, resentments, or other attachments can be a healthy way to make room for growth in your own life.
Just go outside and take a look around. Observe the last of the leaves dangling from their branches. See gravity take over as the leaves fall from the trees. Watch them dance around on the ground.
If only letting go were just that easy.
Oh let’s just imagine that it is…
Movement as Medicine
As I’ve said before, I’m not one to talk politics. It’s not that I don’t have opinions; believe me, I do. Take healthcare for instance. I believe that we, the people need to take responsibility for our own health as best as we are able. I’m not talking Obamacare. Remember? I don’t talk politics. I’m simply talking about eating right and getting up and moving. Making these two changes can do wonders for your health. Lowering blood pressure, strengthening the cardiovascular system, boosting immunity, or even reducing stiffness in arthritic joints.
It’s been about two weeks since I’ve stopped all yoga and took up walking three times each day. My break from yoga is only temporary – allowing my overstretched, sprained ligaments in my low back, pelvis, and hip to heal. In the meantime, at my chiropractor insistence, I’ve taken up walking no less than 15 minutes at a time three times a day. This task initially was as painful and slow as ever. The 1st ten minutes of each walk was no fun at all and I was compelled to go for another 15 minutes after I’d gained relief from the troubled portion of my trek. Now, I look forward to my walks and go for 30 minutes or more at a time. I feel great, and I have put a bug in my chiropractor ear about my return to my yoga practice (what I can and cannot do upon my return).
As for walking, I think I’ll keep it up. The movement has been good medicine for me.