Too Much, Too Soon
I am, generally speaking, a very enthusiastic student. I tend to throw myself into things with great gusto and vigor. Sometimes this very much works against me. With all the practice and study at AT school, I’ve been worried that I might get out of touch with my yoga teaching. To try and stay on top of it, I’ve been hitting the mat a lot in the past few weeks, practicing four times a week, doing 90-minute practices from the back of “Light on Yoga” by B. K. S. Iyengar. I’ve been feeling so open and free as a result of the training that my yoga has been a delight.
Over the years, I’ve suffered from a hyper-mobile sacro-iliac joint. My left leg and hip tend to be a fair amount tighter and less organized than the right and, as a result, the right side has to make up the difference. This means that all sorts of gripping and spasming happens in the right hip area once the joint slips out of alignment and my body tries to stabilize itself around the joint. I’ve been having a bit of a flare-up of this over the past few weeks, even before school started, most likely triggered by the demands of holiday travel.
The result of this had been a generally creaky feeling in my mid-back which has led to a huge crick in my spine. I woke up the other morning completely unable to lift my head off the pillow or turn it more than a few degrees to the left. It’s nothing new, I’ve had it happen before. These thing come and go, but they are painful, awkward and very inconvenient. The teachers at school have been very considerate and helpful and it’s beginning to work its way out, though it will take a few more days to be completely healed. Getting up off the floor or taking my head back has been a challenge, which wouldn’t seem to be such a hardship until you consider I do that ten times a day or more as part of my job. The more I’m able to do my AT directions—freeing my neck and directing my head forward and up—the easier it is to move around.
What is most interesting about the crick and the attendant spasms in my neck, back and chest is how it feels as if the left side of my body is clamping down out of shock, as if it is not at all happy with all of the change going on. It seems particularly resistant to all that freedom and opening I’ve been experience in my chest. I’m going to have to reconsider how I’m going to practice going forward. Maybe I’ll just hit the treadmill for a while and limit myself to standing poses and a few other simple things.