The Pain of Yoga
Today I’m in pain – a not inconsiderable amount of pain. And I blame yoga. Possibly soccer, but mainly yoga.
This week at Sunday night yin class, our instructor felt the need to focus on the upper leg and hip region. Despite it being slow, calm yoga, I found it intense. I was shaking and twitching embarrassingly with every pose. But – and here’s the part where I quote something trite about clouds and silver linings – I learned something out of the deal: I’m not flexible. Not at all.
Being a clever and occasionally observant individual, it occurred to me early on that this might be the sad case. It was the beginning of class, I remember, and we were sitting on the floor with our legs spread out as wide as they could comfortably go (slightly more than shoulder-width for me). Then, with our palms on the floor, we had to lean forward from the hip to deepen the stretch. Despite already straining against sitting like this, I attempted to lean. And nothing happened. I stayed upright, torso refusing to lower any further, hips and back launching an immediate protest. So I stayed incongruously upright, shoulders and spine inelegantly curved towards the ground in the closest approximation of the pose that I could muster. And I stayed there for three minutes.
The rest of the session proceeded in a remarkably similar manner. A pose would be described and demonstrated and, with clockwork regularity, I would fail to accomplish anything even remotely resembling proper form.
The real problem, though, was that I was trying – I mean really straining to get it. Bad idea, I know, but I couldn’t even get close to the pose. I was falling drastically short of even the lower limits of flexibility. But I stubbornly felt obligated to do the poses properly.
The upshot is I’ve injured myself now, so lesson learned. I’m not flexible and I’m paying the price for trying too hard.
[tags]injuring self, trying too hard, straining, yoga pain, yin yoga [/tags]