We all know that Yoga practice is not always bliss. Sometimes it seems to turn on us, triggering issues that cause us to approach our practice with reticence. Over the years of teaching Yoga Tune Up®, I’ve heard many concerns that get in the way of one’s practice, but there are three that tend to be biggest. Below is Part 1 in a 3-part series suggesting a few strategies to use when these roadblocks arise.
Roadblock #1: “I have an injury preventing me from going deeper!”
Injuries are a bummer. No one wants to be in pain. It’s important to not dwell on the inconvenience of your injury but rather create an environment of healing within yourself. That environment starts first with establishing an inner mental attitude that chooses (in spite of the pain) to see the injury as an opportunity; an opportunity to learn more about the area that’s in pain, along with how and why it’s injured — then dive into strategies that help support those tissues that are suffering.
This will take a proactive stance on your part to seek out information, help, and treatment. In the process though, you will learn a lot about your attitudes towards your body, your practice and your own levels of trust and fear. Have faith; your body is a miracle. Tissue is living and it will regenerate if you give it time, patience and love. The key here is to learn what led to the injury and then build new habits within your practice to ensure it doesn’t get repeated.
I remember nursing a hamstring injury for nearly two years, which meant virtually no forward bends — but it gave me the time to work on my core and my back! The payoff came when I achieved backbends like Natarajasana (the Dancer) that I had only dreamed of.
Backing off an injured area compels you to focus on other poses that may need to be strengthened in order to support the injured area, as well as other areas that have been given the short shrift prior to the injury. Injuries can often be a blessing in disguise when treated properly within your practice.
Survey yourself. What are the chief complaints you have about your practice? Is there a way to use the negatives to see a bigger picture for personal growth and evolving your practice? From that new view, you will overcome the huge hurdle of feeling that your practice is weighing you down as opposed to buoying you up.
Stay tuned for Part 2 …