Tuesday, November 22, 2011

You Gotta Know When to Hold 'em, and Know When to Fold 'em

I've known for years that its important to listen to my body. I've also known for years that I am great at the listening part but really crappy at the responding part.

When I was about 16 and a member on my high school's Dance Team I continued to tie my shoes too tight and practiced a move that caused my shoe to dig into the back of my ankle. Even though my ankle would be sore later in the evening I would show up at school the next day and tie my shoes tight again. It wasn't until the day before a big competition that my ankle fought back and declared that not only would I not being tying my shoes tight today but I would also not be wearing shoes that day. I had bruised my Achille's tendon. And I was actually going to have to take a break for the rest of the season.

If you've ever hurt this area of the human body then you know why the Greek's made such a big deal about it. It can be debilitating. To this day when anyone touches that area of my body I can feel the same pain from 15 years ago.

So you would think I had learned my lesson. But apparently not. Apparently my mind has a funny way of saying "Ok, body, I hear that you are in pain. But let's be real, you're a young body. A healthy body. An invincible body. Right? Atta Girl!" Then somehow my mind is always shocked when my body rebels a day or two later screaming, "Well now you've done it! We tried to warn you. Did you feel that pinch of pain? The nice little suggestion that perhaps something was wrong? You did, didn't you? But you didn't listen and now we're worse off. Well that is just great!"

What happened recently you might be wondering?

Well, 1.5 weeks ago I was in my Teacher Training class and was practicing Vasisthasana (Side Plank) when my Anatomy teacher came around and pointed out that I was hyper-extending my elbow (lucky me, I'm flexible which means my body has the ability to just hyper-extend things and hurt itself.)

This woman to the right is hyper-extending her right elbow, it should not pop out like that. The woman on the left is practicing this posture correctly.

So I listened to my teacher and released the pose without actually inquiring as to what to do or how to fix it. The next day I talked to another teacher about what I had done and that I was feeling some sensitivity in my right elbow so I was going to modify some poses. The teacher suggested that after Sunday I should rest and not practice on Monday. Did I listen? Nope.

On Monday, I went to a hot vinyasa class and talked to the teacher before the start of class just to let her know that she might see me doing a lot of modifications because I had injured my elbow. She nodded and informed that if I start to notice tension in my jaw or in my shoulders I should take a break from yoga for a bit. Ok, I thought. I only have to get through tonight and Tuesday night and then I'll take a break.

Again, on Tuesday I go to a yoga class, talk to the teacher ahead of time, blah, blah, blah. I barely get through the class and my elbow is pretty much screaming at me. I was definitely doing a dis-service to my body. But my mind had a goal to attend my 3 classes that week so I was showing up and doing what I could.

That is till my body quit.

At 3am that night I was awoken while I attempted to roll over to sleep on my right side. All of sudden I felt a warm pinch on the right side of my neck and my entire upper body was rendered useless. I laid there in bed waiting for the sharp pain to go away and for my neck to loosen. Four hours later I woke up my husband and told him I had been awake for 4 hours and could not move my neck. Final diagnosis is a pinched nerve which resulted in 2 days off from work, no driving for 4 days, and 7 days later I'm still in pain.

The image above shows what I hurt and kinda displays how its all connected.

In the end I learned to not just listen but to react. To take a break. Take a breath. My yoga practice will always be there waiting for me to show up when I'm feeling better.

To all my yogi and yogini friends, please practice responsibly.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Welcome to my new blog


I've just started this new blog to share my yoga journey. I'm currently enrolled in a yoga teacher training program with Charm City Yoga.

I hope you enjoy sharing this journey with me!