A while back, when I first got started in this Ashtanga thing, I pulled my right hamstring attachment, not a bad pull, but enough to scare me into backing off, which was a good thing. I spent a month doing wimpy half poses, holding onto the shins in any foreward bend, plus trigger point work, and it got better. Yeah! Never again have I pushed in a forward bend, for fear of reinjuring, and slowly I have gotten to hands flat on the floor for standing bends, and grasping wrists below my feet in seated bends. So far so good.
Then, about a month ago, I re-injured it. GOD DAMN IT. It wasn’t even a yoga related injury!! (Don’t ask.) Which is so unfair! I’m sure it was probably weakened from that previous injury, and that was yoga related, but the actual tearing this time was off the mat—SO annoying, as I am SO careful in my practice. But I think I still had this imaginary divider between ‘yoga’ and ‘life’ so that I wasn’t really groking how injury in one would affect the other. I remember, now, David Williams talking about why he doesn’t run: because any injury could affect his practice for months, maybe forever, maybe even bench him. That yoga can even be destabilizing for a while after a practice—that stretched out feeling—making injury more likely. He didn’t want to risk it. Tell me about it!
Anyway, here I am with a pain in my butt. Again. I’ve been practicing through it a little, backing off on the forward bends, but it’s just been a low-grade ache. Honestly, I’ve halfway ignored it, not wanting to admit that this stupid non-yoga injury really is going to impact my yoga practice. But it really has. And this morning, it was more than a low-grade ache, alerting me to the fact that it really isn’t getting any better. And maybe it’s getting worse.
I am so pissed.
Should I take a week off, maybe? Seems like maybe I had to do that the first time. I should keep a practice journal or something so I can remember this stuff (like that will ever happen). I practiced today at half-mast, hands just below the knees for any forward bends, felt like I was doing nothing. There was a small lift from seeing how far I have come—some of these variations were really hard for me when I started and now they feel like nada. Mostly it was annoying. But I also thought, oh, perfect time to work on that whole tristana breakthrough thingy, injury-as-teacher and all that happy horseshit. But that’s like trying to gather three wild horses who have taken off in opposite directions. Or trying to push the wrong side of magnets together: absurd enough to seem hopeless. If I hadn’t accomplished it once on a fluke. Still, that was me, trying to tame horses this morning so that I wouldn’t keep focusing on how lame it feels to practice without forward bends.
I’m going to take the weekend off at least, and do some more trigger point stuff. And maybe some heat treatments. Possibly ice, but it’s freaking 25 degrees out there, the last thing I want to do is ice anything. If I can make myself practice at half effort, maybe I will keep practicing instead of taking time off, but it’s so hard. Where’s the endorphins? Where’s the high?
Sigh. I’ve got to take care of this, though, or it will never heal.