January 6, 2012 § 8 Comments

It is Wednesday, and by now the soreness in my hamstrings should be subtle, a gentle reminder of the fire-y work of Sunday’s sun salutes (108. What a way to begin.) When I’m seated, that’s true. It’s the type of pleasant soreness that says I’ve worked hard, leaving me feeling humbled (because it was difficult) and grateful (Because I am blessed simply to be healthy – sun salutes are a gift). When I stand up however, my tender muscles protest loudly and I stoop for a step or two. They creak and groan as I take a moment to slowly, gently straighten, and they remind me that it’s not always the things I think that need the strengthening (shouldn’t it be my shoulders?) Sometimes I’m certain it’s will I am lacking, when actually it’s my ability to let go that’s in need of exercise.

I could just sit all day. I could not move and I wouldn’t have to feel the pain. But if I choose to avoid this discomfort, I will get stuck. Another reminder, of course. It is so easy to allow even minor discomfort to keep me static, fearful, resistant. Paying attention, and gently probing those tender spots, massaging those muscles, is the only way out.

This is why I love asana. The body is such an amazing teacher when we pay it some attention.

§ 8 Responses to Hamstrung

  • pencilfox.com says:

    have been lazy [“too little time”] about my yoga practice.
    your words are gentle reminders for me….

    • Mel says:

      Hi sweet pencilfox! 🙂

      (They are gentle reminders for me too, I need them) Maybe not lazy? Maybe… I’m looking for words for this… When we are busy it is so easy to deny our needs, whether it’s for movement or stillness or a bath… You know? I don’t think that’s lazy, I think it’s… something else that I don’t have words for just yet. Something a little like resistance, but not really.

  • You’re so right about paying attention. Mindfulness is the keyword some practitioners tend to forget….and then they wonder why they end up at the surgery with yoga related injuries.
    Thanks for this post and happy new year!

    • Mel says:

      Happy New Year to you as well (and thank you for stopping by!) Yes – and I’m not at all immune to losing my way on this, but I practice. The mental portion is harder for me than the physical, especially marrying them up. I’ll be working on it forever, I suspect!

  • Elizabeth says:

    It truly truly is. I am always appreciative when I can manage to listen and learn instead of trying to hide it away or ignore it.

  • Rachel says:

    Fear and resistance…those words describe my relationship to a yoga practice perfectly. I continue to do some basic stretches (hamstrings point in fact!) on my own, but have made excuse after excuse against going back to class. Even though I loved the class when I took it consistently. why the fear? january 30th. winter session starts. let’s hope I push past it and start anew.

    • Mel says:

      Class is helpful, helpful, helpful – and a component of a well-rounded and safe practice – but, self-study works too. I did it for years (sometimes I have to take the hard route, as you know!) 😉 There are reasons it took me so long to find my way back to a class environment.

      I’m available for a (gentle) nudge if you find you need it. I so hear you on this.

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