I made this mistake so you don’t have to

IMG_36301My superhero days of invisibility are over.  I wish they weren’t.  Times of eating, drinking, and yoga’ing all day long now have consequences.  Damn.  Maybe it’s the fact that my body’s just not what it used to be.  It’s now in its 30’s, has grown and birthed 2 kids, and has carried me through any adventures or challenges I’ve thrown its way.  Now my body’s reminding me that it’s no longer, and far from, its teenage sprightly self.

My right shoulder has all of a sudden been bothering me.  It’s been overused lately and now needs to rest.  Sounds simple, right?  Well, it could have been a lot worse.  I have never had shoulder problems before, have never injured that area, and would never have expected this issue.  Lately I’ve been teaching and practicing more than usual.  It’s been fun and I was going for it, pushing myself a little more than usual.

I always remind my students to be aware of the line between ‘good pain’ and ‘bad pain’, to go up to that line, recognize it, then back off.  Crossing that line leads to injury and frustration.

My shoulder ached a few days ago, its way of telling me it needed rest.  I didn’t want to rest.  Now I’m paying the price for not listening to it, in the form of real pain.  It’ll pass.  Everything will be fine.  But this experience has reminded me that I always need to listen to body.  Telling it to ‘shut up’ will only make it scream its point even louder.  Our bodies sometimes know things that our minds do not and we need to listen.  Sometimes those messages are to back off and ease up, sometimes those messages are actually to do the opposite (as one of my favorite authors Elizabeth Gilbert recently wrote about).

Here are my tips to avoid injury and make sure you don’t miss those messages-

  • Move slowly (pay attention to what you feel as you move through practice)
  • Breathe deeper (focus on your breathing to better let go of the other things clouding your mind)
  • Turn off any distractions (music is great but shut off your phone, escape away from pets, get the kids to sleep)
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