hamstring injury update and a lotus

A while back I bemoaned my injured hamstring attachment.  I went off all yoga for a week, then found I still couldn’t do any kind of forward bending anything, so switched to Intermediate (much Swensized).  I added the Bow sequence from Vinyasa Krama Yoga to flesh out the beginning a little, dropped the leg-behind-head poses (for the hamstring), and I did that for a couple of months.  Then, when I had had no daily aching in my hamstring for a week or so, I hesitantly tried a Primary-lite (‘forward bends’ consisted of no more bend than hands on knees) and still, no pain.  Woo hoo!  So I have returned to Primary, slowly lowering the hands in forward bends.  I’m down to shins now.

But sometimes that hamstring aches, still.  Sometimes after practice, yikes.  And it particularly hurts if I move it cold, like getting out of the car at a red light the other day to run over and drop some netflix movies into the mailbox on the side of the road.  When I got back into the car, just as the light turned green, I noticed my hamstring complaining.  Nothing major, but the kind of thing that makes me nervous.  I want it healed, and if it’s still aching, it isn’t healed, not all the way.  The original injury was not from yoga, although I think the attachment was weakened from over-stretching in yoga and primed to get hurt.  I am super careful in my practice, and then I do something crazy in my off-the-mat life and break something. Or re-injure that which isn’t yet at full power.  It must stop.

So I’ve been giving it a heat treatment before I practice.  I have one of those Inferno Wraps from a while ago when I had trouble with my wrists.  I open it out flat and sit that sit-bone right onto it, running the length of it down the hamstring.  Holy cow does it feel good.  I sit there toasting my bum while I drink my coffee and then it’s passively warmed up before I hit the surys.  This has been helping immensely.  No pain after practice.   It makes sense.  Warming up before working it, rather than warming it up by working it.  I’m hopeful.  I think a full recovery is possible.  If I’m careful.

I’m reporting all of this because when I first got hurt and was looking at losing my practice altogether, I was combing the net for clues, and blog reports of what various real folk had actually done to heal themselves were really useful.  I was not alone!  Why is it misery always loves company?

Anyway.  Now we turn to other fast breaking yoga news, namely this: I have, finally, at long last, gotten into a FULL LOTUS.  Not since I was seven and made entirely of rubber has this been possible.

Obviously, this is not a nice tight, pretty padmasana.  It’s a kind of scrunched, barely there, knee-doesn’t-like-it padmasana.  That right foot is just about to be sucked under, haha.  But that’s okay.  Just the fact that that left foot can get up on the thigh at all is so exciting, evidence that change is occurring, even at glacial speed (I’ve been at this a year and a half now).  Woo hoo!

When I started, not even half-lotus was possible.  Lifting either foot off the floor was excruciating in the knees.  Any kind of lotus at all seemed ridiculously unattainable.  But here I am.

Give it another year and lotus might go from possible to even actually enjoyable.   Hey.  It could happen.  And my hamstring will be perfect, and I’ll be able to hold Navasana without sinking like the Titanic, and there could be world peace, and free chocolate at the chocolate store—

7 thoughts on “hamstring injury update and a lotus

  1. grimmly Grimmly

    What are you saying, that’s a very pretty lotus, congratulations on it. I have a tight one for Baddha padmasana and utpluthi and a much looser one for sitting ( meditation). By tighter and looser in mean that in the tighter one the knees are closer towards each other and by looser, further apart.

    1. maya Post author

      Thanks for the pom pom waving Shannow. And thanks for the ‘pretty’ vote, haha, grim. It’s not so much the tightness as the fact that that right foot is pointed as much as it can in order to stay up there. But still, progress is progress and I’ll take it.

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