I have been suffering with a really intense lower backache for more than a month now. I thought the answer would be to up my exercise. Stretch and bend a bit more at the Yoga class. Challenge myself to get over the pain and not give into it. But it kept getting worse.
So this morning, I was about to give up on Yoga but decided to give it one last try! I am so glad that I did because as I checked in with my absolutely amazing Yoga teacher she asked me (like a very professional doctor would) a series of questions – if I was trying to touch my toes without bending my knees or the downward dog pose without bending my knees? Guess what? I was doing all those poses and more – everyday – without bending my knees… I thought if I pushed myself harder into a stretch I would benefit more. I was so wrong!
So the reason for sharing this experience is to bring awareness that while Yoga is a great way to incorporate exercise into your life, it is also very easy to go wrong with the postures and injure yourself. It is better to go for a class than try it at home by yourself – but even a group class can be risky because it can invoke a sense of competitiveness in the least competitive person.
So the lesson to learn is that If you are new to yoga and cant reach your toes; just bend your legs! It is absolutely okay!
It dosent matter if your teacher or fellow groupie has her head touching the floor while you sit on your mat like a little dumpling; where the only way you can push your head to the floor is by splitting your back! Did I paint a good picture? Incase I didn’t… below is a picture of Diana Vs me – the Dumpling!
So just do what feels right for you and your body and follow your pain. The new buzzword is “Mindfulness” – in layman terms – it means to be aware of or be completely present in the moment – whether it is eating, exercising or watching a movie! If a posture seems too much, just back up a bit. LISTEN to what your body is telling you. Be AWARE to differentiate between the good and bad pain.
Don’t compete with the next person. Its okay if they are more flexible than you. You might be better at something else that they can never do. ; )
Love & light,
PS: This is not a paid advertisement by Diana Azavedo. Just a very grateful note from her student and a yoga enthusiast.
PSS: If you are looking for a Yoga teacher, I would recommend her in a heartbeat. She is hosting a free session on May13 at Marina Mall. Try her out for yourself. Find more details here.