hamstring injury update the third

This is probably one of those super boring topics to everyone except to me, right?  Oh mah aches and pains…!  I’ll keep it short, I promise.  Anyway.

So, I took a week off my practice.  Then ladies holiday arrived, so I took a couple more days off.  Ten days in all.  Ten days!!!  The most interesting thing about this time off was realizing I have the kids trained to play amongst themselves for an hour every morning.  Without yoga to do, this hour turned out to be a nice time to play guitar and surf the web.  And after ten days, the web is well surfed, my friends, fear not!

My hamstring was definitely improved by the yoga moratorium.  The rest of me was crap, my knees aching, my neck stiff, my energy low, my brain…more tense than usual.  But my right sit bone, which started the 10 days with a constant, sometimes distracting, ache, well, it only hurt some of the time, and then not so much.  So I guess that means healing was occurring.  Go me!

For the record, in addition to NOT doing yoga, I did ice the first three days, then heat a couple times a day, ultrasound treatments, and Roger Cole’s previously mentioned, incredibly boring, hamstring exercises.  Cycling turned out to hurt me knee so I canned it.

Onward.  So, today, with much trepidation, I rolled out the manduka and proceeded to do a blessed primary—oh, how I missed it!!!!—with no forward bends.  It is possible.  Any time there would normally be a forward bend whether standing, sitting, whatever, I didn’t do it (sitting straight in paschi, say, or hands above or just below the knees in uttanasana, etc) and instead worked on my bandhas/breathing/driste.  It was ashtanga lite.  It actually wasn’t so bad.  Then, every few poses I checked in to see if anything hurt, and no.  Some awareness of some sensation in the hurt area, but never pain.  So far so good.

But here I sit, five hours later, with an aching butt.  Why?  Why?  Impotent howl of frustration!  Stomping of foot!  Pouting!

What do I do?  Give up yoga for a month?  Give up yoga altogether?  Push on with half-assed (har har) yoga for a while?  Keep doing the various treatments, plus yoga sans forward bends and see if it works itself out over time? Not use the leg, a la bending it in forward bends?  Use it while super contracting the quads?  Physical therapy?  Other?

I wish I could see into the future either way, keeping with the yoga or giving it up for a while.  If I keep it up, do I end up healed, or a cripple? If I give it up for a while, do I end up healed?  Or a cripple?  I don’t think I can give it up, honestly.  I’m addicted.  …But if I keep going, am I going to regret it?

My practice had just gotten so GOOD.  It’s hard to explain my feeling of loss at the moment.

9 thoughts on “hamstring injury update the third

  1. grimmly Grimmly

    Hi Maya, I’ve been having trouble with forward bends recently, not due to the hammies but because of my back, makes primary tricky, doable but tricky. But it seems even avoiding the forward bending your still getting some pain. How about this, I’ve been focusing on Intermediate series instead, avoiding forward bending altogether. ” But I don’t do 2nd series” I hear you cry, no but you will do sooner or later, right. If you go to some of the famous teachers workshops they often offer intro’s to 2nd, here’s mine : ) Have a look at Ramaswamis Bow sequence
    It has the poses from the first part of 2nd (up to kapo) but with all the vinyasa Krama prep poses too, it’s a good way to build up to backbends but best of all your on your frount rather than on your backside, quads not hammies, plus can’t be considered Ashtanga lite because it’s prep for 2nd (so good for morale). Obviously you just miss out the final laghu and Kapo but otherwise go through standing as usual do this bow sequence and then ashtanga finishing.

    First pose of 2nd is pasasana of course which people often work on for years here’s a nice cheat from Vinyasa krama which you could slip in at the end of standing before starting Bow

    Just a thought

    1. maya Post author

      Hi Grim, this is providence because as I was laying there not sleeping this morning, I had exactly the same thought. I’ve done intermediate with David Williams in his workshop, once. And i’ve done intermediate up to kapo from Swenson and Kino. and I was thinking the exact same thing, that it’s all bending the other way (except Krounchasana) plus all the hamstring strengtheners… But it’s so short, I thought to myself, going up to kapo is only what, five asana and then finishing? So unsatisfying. And then here is your post with the expansion of same. I’m totally going to give it a try. I do love my primary, don’t know if I can give it up, but maybe for a couple of weeks? Thanks so much for the suggestion.

      Oh, and for some reason pashasana is a gimme pose for me. Everyone gets one freebie, right? Since day one I can do this pose with feet flat, full bind, go figure. I wish my gimme had been backbends! Or handstands! Something more glamorous… 🙂

      And I’m sorry about your back! I saw with interest your post on primary without forward bends, meant to investigate further, but hadn’t gotten back there. I hope your back clears up soon! These niggling injuries are so hard to figure out, whether to practice through them, practice around them, or lay off…

  2. grimmly Grimmly

    Glad the timing was good, couldn’t remember for sure if you’d done any of 2nd. i like the Bow sequence and often slip in some of the postures as extras prep leading up to kapo, nice at the moment as I’m skipping LBH for now.

    Back is getting a lot better thanks, seems fine but want to lay of the forward bends and LBH ’till next week just to be on the safe side.

    Did you see my post a couple of days ago on the David Williams poster? it’s on his website, the ‘original’ Primary to Advanced B on one giant poster, couldn’t resist.

    1. maya Post author

      I did see that, I’d been keeping an eye on his site for it, but you beat me. He mentioned last summer that it was in the works, as is his memoirs, can’t wait to read that! I’ll be interested to see if he put the locations of the vinyasa on the poster. He puts the Vs in different places than the rest of the ashtanga folk, for example, no V between sides on asymmetrical poses, or no V between the butt balancing poses towards the end of primary. He tells the story of seeing that poster in Jois’s training room and memorizing it, but having to stay in India with Jois to to get the vinyasas, which were not on the poster. Wish it was slightly more enlarged in the photo…I’m sure that’s by design. 🙂

  3. grimmly Grimmly

    As soon as I read about that poster on his site I google searched every image I could find of the old shala to try and see if I could see the poster anywhere. Raises so many questions, did Jois write it out himself, copy it, was this what he was given by K when he sub’d his classes. Where is it now? Has it been hidden away somewhere because it doesn’t correspond with the new 6 series division. Love mysteries.

    1. maya Post author

      I totally did the same thing!!!!! I just about wet myself when he said that, where did it come from, who wrote it up? I don’t know if it was in devangari, but I know he had to do a fair amount of translating from the sanskrit with the help of Ramesh and then looking at Iyengar’s Light on Yoga to figure out what the poses were. I didn’t get the impression that there were images on the list, just the names of the poses, but that could totally be wrong. I’m so curious….

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