yoga after injury: getting back in the saddle

Nearly three weeks after I re-injured my right hamstring attachment, I finally did some real yoga today.  Three weeks!  Week one, I stayed away because everything hurt.  Week two, I tried a couple of times but my whole pelvis felt so ouchy and unstable, it seemed like a bad idea.  Then Lady’s Holiday made deciding whether to practice this week easy: nope.

But I’ll be honest.  Part of  not practicing since September has been the simple fact that I got pissed off at yoga.

/muttering: Goddamn stupid yoga keeps blowing out my hamstring, what the heck am I doing yoga for if I’m just going to get hurt, stupid idiotic me for doing something so stupid and idiotic as yoga /etc

I knew I was being totally unfair BUT I DIDN’T CARE.  Sulking and blaming were all that was getting me through my injury-depression.  Cuddling up to my inferno wrap and fantasizing about Never Doing Yoga Again was my much needed psychological palliative.  Sour grapes FTW!  Fuck yoga!  I hate yoga!

This went on for days.

But today I woke up early and got on the mat.  I didn’t even make myself do it, I just found myself doing it.

Holy crap it felt good!  YOGA: WHAT AN AWESOME INVENTION.  Delicious, wonderful, juicy yoga!  Oh yes, my darling, where have you been!  I’ll have what she’s having!

Seriously, where has my yummy yoga been?  I’d forgotten it could even be like this, you know, where you get into a pose and kind of moan a little because it feels so good.  Positively indecent, really.

Did the three week break do this for me?  Everything was stiff, so stretching out felt good?  Or was I doing something different?

Well, I was definitely practicing differently.  Hamstring injury, hello:  no forward bends.  My body never closed deeper than 80 degrees.  Which meant, in my beloved primary, paying attention to other things, such as bandhas, pelvic placement, breathing, my spine, etc.  Man, there is so much going on in Primary besides the forward bending bit.  Even in “forward bends.”  You can do an awesome primary without stretching the hamstrings!  No, really, you can!

I remember feeling like this in my first year of Ashtanga, that I couldn’t wait for the next day’s practice.  I totally forgot that.  Why has practice been such a slog this year?  How did it come to this?

I started thinking, too, what if I never progress any further than this?  Because part of my blah-yoga feeling this year has been the total plateau I have been on, pretty much across the board.  But suddenly I thought, if I make no further physical progress in my practice, ever, I mean, that would actually be pretty fantastic.  If I can do an hour-ish a day’s work and maintain my current strength and flexibility into my fifties, sixties, or even seventies…wouldn’t that ROCK?  Is that even possible?  Can a 70 (or, dare I say it, 80) year old do lotus or urdhva dhanurasana or headstand?  What if I plateau for the rest of my life??

Well, shit.  I’d be okay with that.

Hmmm.  Maybe I got lost down some track where I wanted to get somewhere.  Maybe my delicious yoga practice today was partly getting off that track. Because I can’t get anywhere right now.  I’m injured.  Maybe this is that nonsense you hear people say about how “getting injured was the best thing that happened to my practice,” bunch of bullshit but maybe its kind of true.

I don’t know, I’m probably just high from practice.

(Why has it been so long since I felt post-practice high??)

2 thoughts on “yoga after injury: getting back in the saddle

    1. maya Post author

      Ha, yeah, let me be a meemaw who can touch her toes, look at the ceiling, and play with her grandkids on the floor!


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