Injury Diary

I didn’t set out for this blogging-every-day-in-August thing to just be a diary of my various injuries but it is turning into a bit of one. Today it is my right hip. Yesterday I went for a run, and being my first one in weeks I got a bit over excited and maybe overdid it a teeny tiny bit.

I have seriously tight hips. If I forego my regular yoga practice for a day I feel it in my hips first and by the second day I have back pain. Problem is when I reintroduce hip-heavy exercise into my days after a period of illness my beautifully tight hips reward me by getting stronger in the long term but tight and achy in the short term. I still “have” to do an intensive asana class though (thanks, stubborn brain) and it ended up being totally inappropriate for my bodily state. Any external rotation was fairly painful and by the end of the night I was in pain whenever I moved my hips at all. Which is whenever I move, incidentally. Hip pain is horrific.

This morning it was better thank goodness but I’m not a fan of powering through injuries and tiredness/illness so even though I am “supposed” to be practicing the Primary Series I decided it would be stupid to do so. So what do you do when you have a bad wrist, a bad hip, you’re tired and have a stomach ache? First of all you sit around feeling sorry for yourself, guilty you’re not working and panicky about future yoga teaching career because, if you can’t practice when feeling slightly ill and injured, how the hell do you expect to commit to teach others? At least you do if you’re me. Ended up spending an afternoon with Shiva Rea and Sarah Powers via my extensive yoga dvd collection. I feel soothed now. If I can teach half as well as those women I will be happy.

So lesson is for today that there is yoga for every situation and injury.

Question is, what will tomorrow’s injury be?

Bad wrist

I mentioned briefly I have a bad wrist at the moment. Sadly it’s a yoga-induced injury. I have only had a couple in my 4 years practicing, and none serious but it’s still enough to knock me back a bit.

I am 4 weeks into a 6 week intro to Ashtanga course and have been trying to practice the Primary Series 3 times a week. First week went great, next week I was ill so restorative practices for a few days, then came illness-induced boredom. Itching to get back to my leaping and binding I was “playing” with jumping through- that great Ashtanga transitional move, and I leant too hard on my left wrist. Ow, sore, no weight bearing for a few days. Hence yoga-induced injury.

There is an backstory as to why I leant too hard on my left wrist but that painting/yoga injury story is for another day.

Bizarrely the day before I had been learning about how the wrist, unlike the ankle, is not developed for weight bearing. So in yoga, with the amount of poses that require us to put weight on our wrists (eg plank, chaturanga, downward facing dog) we must remember to recruit the other parts of the hand to ease the load on the wrist.

I must remember to not just allow the weight to sink into my wrist, but to press through my palms and fingers.

This is all well and good but a lot of weight bearing asanas require a tremendous amount of strength and energy. Energy used to hover over the ground in chaturanga means less energy is available to me to remember not to screw my wrists up. What I need is more ease in the pose, I need stronger abdominal support. So…

I will devote time every single frigging day to build my abdominal strength.

The reason why I lean into my left wrist over my right is because of the aforementioned earlier painting/yoga injury. My shoulders have a tendency to stiffen up which puts pressure on my over-used right arm and causes my right elbow to not be able to hold my weight in chaturanga sometimes. I have devised a sequence of stretches that help my arm. So…

I will keep up with the shoulder stretches.

Finally, and most importantly.

I will never ever ever again “play” with jump throughs when I am not warmed up. Ashtanga is NOT for playing with. It is a serious practice and I must always do it with a straight face. It will in turn reward me by not giving me a wrist injury again.

Injured

Today I am injured. Some form of RSI, I’m guessing, in my right forearm from painting. Working diligently towards your first exhibition will do that. Right now I am trying not to panic and resting it in the hope that having a day off now will mean I won’t have to take weeks off later.

This pain is not new to me, it increases every time I paint a lot. This is in itself alarming because it keeps coming back… I want to paint for the rest of my life, I need to sort this out now. I’m frustrated with myself that I spend at least an hour everyday doing mindful yoga and I pride myself in knowing my body well and not creating unhealthy, unconscious patterns of movement and I injure myself painting.

I must be a mind-less painter.