Yoga for You for the Long Run.
I've been thinking this year off and on about yoga and injuries and how they happen and how to prevent them. I read a book, "The Science of Yoga" which is pretty preoccupied with potential problems, maybe too much, but it does make a few good points. From day one of my teacher trainings I have been concerned with the topic of doing no harm (to myself or others of course). In some ways, you are opening yourself up when you take or teach a yoga class. Opening up to a wonderful potential benefit, but also like most things worth doing, there is some risk. You have to be willing to ignore your ego, which even with a lot of practice is hard. So where does that lead? When a class gets overwhelming, consider going to child's pose balansana where the only plan is to let go. Are you a quitter? Nope. Are you weak? Nope. Are you sullen, angry, or unwilling to participate? Nope nope nope. You are simply protecting yourself, listening to your body, and letting go of expectations, of yourself of others, and of others of yourself. It's a good idea to keep this in mind especially when taking a new class, or taking an advanced class. Ideally, you are safe in a yoga class but things can go awry on occasion. Your ego takes over (or maybe the teacher's ego), you want the teacher to be proud, you want to show 'em what you've got. The teacher may also not be aware of your specific situation, specific areas of concern, or overall fitness and flexibility level. Sadly these factors will get you nowhere, but perhaps to an injury. As your practice develops and you test poses out in classes and on your own, you will better understand your own body mechanics, strengths, and also weaknesses. In yoga as in life, it takes a setting aside of fear to get out there and get moving, to grow and learn and improve. There will always be setbacks, but in fact these are powerful learning tools which shift your course, and lead an outstanding, satisfying and wonderful experience. I plan on doing yoga for the Long Run, and so I have to remind myself as well how to pace out this marathon we call life. Namaste,