Monday, 28 May 2012

Chronic S.I. (Sigh) Joint Pain

My yoga practice is a stickler for showing me where I'm strong and where I'm weak or out of joint on any given day. Whether imbalance lies in mind or body, over the years I've learned to be a good student, shelf my ego and listen carefully.

I'm no sado-masochistic yogi, but I'm grateful for my yoga injuries because they have humbled me.

"Yoga injuries?!" people reply incredulously, whenever I tell them that I've endured more aches and pains from yoga than any other sport or activity in my life.

"But isn't yoga supposed to be good for you?!" they ask.

Cherries are good for you, but if you eat too many you'll get a belly ache. Love is grand - if the joys and effortlessness outweigh the heartaches and striving.

I believe these injuries have less to do with yoga, itself, and more to do with the long-term cumulative effects of any repetitive physical practice.

If strengths and weaknesses pre-exist and go unaddressed through any intensifying physical practice then compensations occur and imbalances compound, and at an interest rate that pays out dividends in chronic pain and injury. Trust me. I know. I used to love cherries - and love to love - to a fault.

I'm still paying off old debt - in the form of a torn rotator cuff, bum hip and finicky S.I. joint. However, slowly but surely, I'm moving out of the red. And not going back.

My practice has transformed, and in many ways, it's stronger. I'm more awake on the mat. I've tempered the Spartan warrior yogi with experiential knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics and Buddha nature. The result is more integrated and pain-free; instead of hurting, now my yoga heals. (or I don't do it). Yours can too.

If you experience lower back pain during your practice, you are not alone! Check out this excellent article from Yoga Journal for tips on how to stabilize the S.I. joint. Or come to one of my classes and I can support you in finding a safe, sane and sustainable way to practice! Namaste.  ॐ

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Make imperfect your practice

Sit in the middle of it. Chew well. At the end of the day, count your blessings and laugh at your mistakes.

It's not so much a prescription as it is a practice. The yoga you do off of your mat.

Be a bendy pretzel with your attitude. Make like a peaceful warrior when all around you has gone to the downward dogs. Inhale. Commune with your breath as if it were your first - or your last; listen closely, and you will hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you, God. Exhale.

Ready or not, Here and Now comes, and goes. Whether you're hiding or seeking, in this game of Life time is finite, and precious - like child's play, which is infinite but by today's standards, way undervalued.

So blow yogalicious bubbles, pop them loudly, and savour the sweet stick. You can always wipe your messy face afterwards.

Ommmmm nom nom ...