Listening

January 18, 2011 § 1 Comment

While in Urdhva Padmasana on Sunday, I suddenly felt a sensation in the right part of my back. It’s a little hard to describe, but it felt like a spasm/tightening of a muscle leading me to treat my torso/back very tenderly after that. As the day progressed, I had to be very gentle with my posture when I was sitting or lying down, because any quick movement would elicit a spasm of pain. Fortunately enough, a massage was planned for that afternoon with my yoga teacher (double bonus!!) so there was some TLC there. She couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary in that part of the back which led her to believe that the tension I’m feeling is at a deep muscular level. Went for practice yesterday to stretch the muscles out a bit and I managed to go through everything pretty well, except for Parivritta Parshvakonasana (had to put hands in prayer position instead of on the floor), and Marichyasana C and D (could barely twist and absolutely could not bind). Woke up today to find that the tension had spread to the upper right back, although my range of turning motion has increased significantly from the past two days. A sign of recovery perhaps? I still have no clue how this spasm came to be, perhaps it was just a tired body telling me to take it easy.

And so I did. Decided not to push my body and skipped practice today. Despite all that talk about listening to one’s body, I cannot help but feel guilty each time I make a conscious decision not to go to the Shala. I know that two consecutive days of practice after a week off is pretty intense for the system, and that my body needs rest, but the regimented side of me feels the need to push and strive, thinking about the flexibility lost. Type A personality, much?? Perhaps it’s the perfect opportunity to practice the self-love that I set out to do for this year – by both paying attention to what my body’s telling me and not beating myself up for resting when needed. I think part of the guilt comes from the suspicion that I’m giving myself excuses to avoid the discomfort of waking up at the crack of dawn to start the day in a sweat. There’s a distrust there, that resting is another symptom of my tendency to procrastinate and muck around instead of focusing wholeheartedly on what needs to be done. This suspicion reflects the judgemental lens with which I view myself (and quite likely, the world around me), and as much as I’m tempted to just blame this on my parents, blaming’s not particularly constructive is it?

Was it Kino who said that :yoga helps us to see ourselves for who we really are”? Truer words have never been spoken.

Moon Day tomorrow = two days of rest. Looking forward to going back on Thursday. I’m skeptical when I hear Ashtangis talk about how much they ‘need’ the practice, but looking at how quickly my irritation surfaced on the roads this morning, I think I ‘need’ my practice too….

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