If you are one of my students you will constantly hear me harp on about staying aligned to prevent injury- especially major ones like hamstring attachments and rotator cuff injuries. For those of you not familiar with my teaching style, or who just read my blog for fun, let me tell you the one most common misconception about yoga- it is not gentle, flowing, and all soft and sweet. It is hard, sweaty, heart pounding and it can run the risk of injury- especially in the higher level poses.
In the process of demo-ing a harder pose, visvamitrasana, ( think arm balance, splits and twist at the same time) I heard a loud pop ( apparently my SI joint). Though I had no pain at the time, a dull ache developed in the hip and hamstring shortly afterwards. ( hamstring tear??)
Why, if I am so careful, did I get injured you may ask? Three things occurred-
1) I was not warmed up as much as I should have been for such a deep pose- hazard of being a teacher
2) I overemphasised the actions in the demo so the students could more easily see them and went beyond my range of motion
3) Not enough muscular energy. Before I spiraled my leg I should have pulled my heel back towards my hip to better seat the femur in the hip socket.
I brought a yoga book to my physio today and pointed to the picture of visvamitrasana and in the words of my wonderful teacher Christina said, “This is the pose I was doing when I injured myself and this is the pose I want to be able to do again“.
He looked at me and said- “Oh- this makes so much more sense now ” and then proceeded to throw IMS needles into my buttock flesh. His diagnoses- SI popped out of range and stressed the whole hip and put the glute and hamstring into spasm and probably a micro tear in my hamstring.
Good. It is not as bad as I thought. They funniest thing was my teacher just sent me- after I told her I injured myself- this crazy practice called “Eye if the Tiger”. I mean- there are poses in there I had to look up because I have never heard of them!! It could be a while before I get to practice that one! Oh…and its three hours long! God bless her- I swear she sees more in me than I see in myself.
Well you can injure youself in yoga but, with Anusara techniques, you can also heal yourself. Everything that happens is for a reason. I figure I needed to cultivate more knowledge on hamstring injury and more awareness of muscle energy in my legs. I know get to use my knowledge to start to heal myself.
Every setback is an opportunity to learn. Every opportunity to learn makes me a better teacher.
I just wish the bag of ice under my butt wasn’t so uncomfortable……..