Listen to your body

This past month I had to slow down my yoga practice a few times for different reasons. Since I came back from India in February I have been keeping a constant practice of 5 to 6 days a week. Apart from the time I was doing Vipassana meditation course, every other day I dedicated myself a lot to my asana practice.

After my 200h teacher training in January, yoga simply became my lifestyle. I stopped drinking, smoking, started meditating more and even changed my diet to mainly vegan. Basically my whole life changed after that training, including my desire to evolve in my asana practice.

I tried a few different yoga schools and styles and saw a big change on my body throughout this 8 months. First I got super skinny while still adapting to my new vegan reality, but later on came back to my normal weight and even got some muscle growth. I also saw my flexibility slowly developing and my alignment getting better and better in some positions.

Apart from all the good things I also felt my body telling me what I was doing wrong. The first months I got this really bad lower back pain, and learned to elongate my spine and bringing the chest forward during my forward and back bends while also trying to keep my abs contracted more often, something that is quite hard for me. Later own I also learned that while performing wheel pose I was actually doing it super wrong and compressing my lower back a lot probably due to my shoulder tightens.

About two months ago I also had some pain in my groins and hip, just after my Vipassana practice. I was 12 days without doing asanas and decided to come back full on, at some point my hip joint didn’t cope with it, I am still not sure if it was a overstretch in the class combined with the immense amount of time sited cross legged during meditation the previous week. Perhaps that somehow damaged some of my hip muscles on the right side that were not used to it so much. Either way the pain got better but sometimes I still feel a big difference between the right and left side while performing some poses, I feel it is not 100% cured yet.

Now the newest problem is my wrist, also one of the most common yoga injures. It actually started with my right shoulder acting a bit weird, I guess my right side was always less flexible than the left. I easily notice that in poses like Halasana or Parsvottanasana when doing the Anjali mudra on the back. Either way I feel theses days my shoulder problem became a wrist problem as it is pretty much interconnected. The past 5 days I was feeling a lot of pain when moving from my downward dog to plank pose, my vinyasas were really not happening properly. That made me really sad as ashtanga and vinyasa flow are my favorite yoga styles and a wrist injure would really deter me from practicing them. I even tried to do this transition using my knuckles on, but it really didn’t work for me as it felt really unnatural to perform the poses this way.

Discouraged from this, on Friday I decided to try something different and went to a Kundalini class which I will tell more about in another post. I felt not so fit that morning and when I came back home I realized I was really ill. I got a cold probably due to the shitty summer weather in Germany, I had my whole nose blocked and a huge headache. Luckily I was off from work and could spend the whole day in bed. As I rarely get sick this for me was a clear signal that I should slow down. My body was asking me for some rest and I was not giving it. Well, as the quote of this post says ‘If you listen to your body when it whispers, you won’t have to hear it scream’. As I didn’t hear any whispers now I’m feeling the damaged that I caused. It turns out that when the body needs a rest, it will made you get a rest.

I feel next week I’ll try to get really easy on it, and I will probably just be going to some restorative Yoga classes, even though I find it really boring, after all the practice must continue, I just feel I need to adapt it to my current needs.

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A nice link about the Most Common Yoga Injuries 

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