As is sometimes the case, injuries do happen in the gentle, soothing, tranquil world of yoga.
I am now officially on the “D.L” (to coin a phrase from the world of sports, I am on the “disabled list”).
It started about two weeks ago while successfully doing a crow pose for the very first time in my yoga practice.
For those of you wondering what exactly a crow pose is, this is how you do it.
You start in a squatted position. You then place both hands on the floor keeping your hands shoulder width apart, remembering to keep your fingers spread wide. Bring your knees up near your armpits. Place your knees as high up as you can on your inner upper arms. At first you will need to bend you elbows a bit in order to make a little platform to keep your knees. It is really important to keep your head lifted high to stop you from falling forward (done that about a million times!). Without hopping or jerking you slowly shift your weight onto your arms and gently lift your feet. Balance for as long as you can (I held mine for about 10 seconds). The crow pose is supposed to strengthens arms and abdominal muscles and is a great posture for developing balance.
The only words of wisdom I can pass along is for those of you who are prone to sweating a lot (me!) during your practice. If you don’t properly wipe your arms and legs down, you will slip and slide and never be able to hold the position. But, I digress.
So, I did this pose, held it for about 10 seconds and thought to my self, “woo hoo…look at me, mister yogi man, finally doing a really heavy duty yoga pose”. At this point, downward dogs seem so pedestrian!!
My yoga instructor, who encouraged me to keep trying, congratulated me for my efforts and I left my practice that day feeling pretty good.
Until the next morning, when I woke up with the most sore of wrists. That was two weeks ago. In that time, I have stubbornly continued my yoga practice but have not done a crow pose since.
I have finally decided to take a break from yoga because I very much want to continue my practice and realize I really have to let my body heal from this injury. Yes, an injury. I have found out through talking with some yoga instructors that many of them actually teach their practice while injured.
I get it…I understand that these instructors have to earn a living and being able to practice and show others how to perfect their postures means sometimes having to work through injuries. I, on the other hand, have the luxury of taking time off from my practice to let my body heal.
But, I have to tell you….not practicing is starting to get to me. Normally, I like to practice about 3-4 times a week. But, being off the mat, is beginning to feel like not having my regular morning cup of coffee or forgetting to put on my wrist-watch. I am outside my normal daily routine and me no likey!
For those of you who practice yoga on a regular basis or even for those of you who don’t…but who are used to a routine, you will understand where I am coming from.
I have become dependent on yoga. Its become familiar and comfortable. Its something that I know makes me feel wonderful after I finish it…it helps me calm my mind and also is physically demanding and rewarding.
Now its out of my life for a while and I miss it.
I am also bummed-out because I know that the longer I am away from it, the harder it will be to get back into it. So I am pretending that I am on vacation. When I was away in March, I only did one class the entire two weeks I was out of town. It was hard getting back into it but eventually got my yoga-groove back.
So, for now…I am imagining I am on vacation (not a bad thing to imagine!)….but this time, no suntan, no beach, no bathing suit and no downward dog.