This article on How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body from the New York Times is making the rounds and certainly serves as a reminder to listen to your body and keep your ego off the mat.
Asana is not a panacea or a cure-all. In fact, if you do it with ego or obsession, you’ll end up causing problems.
– Yoga teacher Glenn Black
I’ve certainly pushed myself too hard doing asanas (yoga postures) and suffered the consequences for days after. Thankfully I haven’t had any catastrophic injuries like those described in the article, but it’s easy to see how they could happen.
Every time I practice I remind myself to stay in the moment, listen to my body, and accept that whatever it’s capable of doing that day. If some part of my body hurts, I need to respect that and move out of the pose or find another approach. Sometimes that means using lots of props, other times it’s just backing off a bit or being okay wobbling on one leg. Often I need to remind myself that yoga is not a competition (not even with myself!) and surrendering my ego is part of the practice. That last part generally means laughing at myself 🙂
If you’re looking for a really laid-back, no ego involved practice this weekend, I’ll be subbing Randi’s Restorative Yoga class on Saturday afternoon (3:15-4:30pm on January 7 at Bound Lotus). Randi’s Restorative classes are always fabulous and I hope to live up to her excellent example. In addition to being an incredible teacher, Randi also founded Samana Wellness to help people find balance and nourishment through yoga and nutrition.
Randi will be teaching Restorative Yoga again on Sunday (6-7:15pm on January 8 at Bound Lotus) and I’ll be there… striving to get my ego off the mat!