November 19, 2011

Know When To Rest

I broke tradition today.  In the Ashtanga yoga tradition, Saturday is a rest day.  I took my rest day yesterday.  

This week has been a tough one for my practice.  My lower back has been sore and so you would think that my practice would get a little easier.  It hasn't.  Every movement that I go through during my practice has been done with more care, more conscious effort than I've ever done before.  I move more slowly while lowering down in Dandasana, taking care that my core, my legs, my arms are all working together and are strong.  I move even more slowly into Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Dog) while focusing on opening my chest and lengthening through my abdomen.

I've been able to find this new focus from the two Mysore classes I went to this week.  I was lucky to receive invaluable information from both Jeff and Harmony.  They both gave me different tips on how I can work through my soreness.  I think that this rediscovery of this old injury will help my practice.  Sometimes you don't know you are doing something incorrectly until you receive feedback from your body.  When you receive that feedback you need to listen to it and as I was told, you do not want to reaggravate the discomfort.

I was also lucky enough to be helped into Marichyasana D on Tuesday and Thursday.  Oh my god does this asana feel incredible when you are in it.  The twist that I received in my spine was indescribable and the rush that I felt with all of my internal organs compressed together while still breathing and holding myself upright is one of the most amazing feelings of control I have ever experienced.  I love that now I know how I am supposed to get into this asana.  I tried it on my own this morning and while I was far from binding, am able to take on a new approach.

So as you can see it's been a busy week in my yoga world.  A lot of new things have been revealing themselves to me.  Thursday night after Mysore class and dinner I could barely move.  My joints were stiff and sore.  My back was bothering me again and I just felt old.  I needed a day off immediately, to allow myself to recuperate from the various changes I've been experiencing in my yoga.  I am so happy that I listened to my body because this morning I had very little feedback from my lower back.  I had a lot of energy and felt strong through my practice.

Sometimes you need to break tradition to do what's right for you.  You are the best judge of what you need.

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