I did something stupid.
I should’ve known better and I DO know better, but I didn’t think it through…
My left hip/back has been off for a while now–the muscles just chronically tight. As loathe as I am to admit it, yoga was making the problem worse. As a result, the past couple months since training I’ve really had to scale back, both in terms of how often I practice and how hard I push when I do practice. It’s very frustrating for my athletic, die-hard, perfectionist (AND YOGA-CRAVING) personality.
Anyway, long miserable story short, I’d spent all day at work with it bugging me. So I decided to stretch it out– a dash of half-tortoise, then a dab of spine twisting. I felt a vertebrae shift into place (aaaaahh), then twisted a little further and felt something else move abruptly… in a not-good way. I took some Advil and went to bed, content that it would have solved itself by morning.
HOLY BEJEEZUS was I wrong.
I couldn’t get out of bed. I sat up (cue STAB-YOU-IN-THE-BACK, SUCKER-PUNCH-YOU-IN-THE-GENITALS-FOR-GOOD-MEASURE PAIN), and spent 20 minutes trying to get my muscles to relax enough to lay back down. I couldn’t life my left leg an inch off the bed. My back and hip muscles (in technical-speak, it’s most likely my psoas and some angry surrounding muscles to boot) were permanently contracted in a Holy Crusade-level of rage. I spent two days in bed, not moving (can you think of a more fitting or more brutal punishment for me?).
That was ten days ago, and tonight was the first night I dared to take class once again. [I’ve been teaching plenty, secretly jealous of my students every second of the way.] I’m happy to be back, even though there was very little I could do. Exhibit A: Half Moon–5° to the right, 5° to the left, a massive 10° backwards, and oh hey we’re just gonna hang out here in pada-hastasana ’cause actually pulling would be the WORST. IDEA. EVER. And that was only the first posture!
Super-frustrating to feel like my practice has taken a gigantic step backward, but I know it’s only a setback and not truly backward. Now, I will be more patient, more careful, and probably have an even better foundation by the time I’m back up to speed. Also, it makes me a much more compassionate teacher…. right?
The moral of this little parable?
There’s a REASON we practice class in the heat, and there’s a REASON why the postures come in the order they do. This way, they are SAFE and effective.
…..I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget that one again!