Lately, I’ve been feeling a soft achy pain in my right hip socket. It is the familiar pain that I had when pregnant with my son and daughter, perhaps due to over-stretched ligaments, but then it would vanish after giving birth. I’m not pregnant nor plan to be (so I know it’s not that!)…but am feeling perplexed and frustrated with this recurring visitor who has yet to go away. At least it is not the “OMG, I can’t do this at all!” pain, or the worst pain of all — the “AAAAHHH! Get outta my face!” giving birth pain — but enough to be a little bit annoying when I do Ardha Baddha Padmottasana especially. I begin to worry — is it going to get worse? to Why isn’t it going away? to Maybe I should take it slower? to Am I getting arthritis?
Then there are my shoulder sockets, which have endured over ten years of strain from surfing, holding onto the board and getting bounced around in the white water, picking up and holding children, especially. The right shoulder has been a bit better but then it seems the pain has migrated to my left shoulder. Not enough to incapacitate me but enough to slow down the jumping throughs and jumping backs. Sometimes I swallow my pride and just step back and forward. My ego hurts but then my shoulders and right hip are happier. Sigh. And about the ego hurting — well, that’s just more grist for the yoga mill, I suppose.
Then there’s Bhujapidasana. Talk about facing fear and pain. My shoulders protest and I don’t know how Maria Villela does that sequence of poses:
I can’t jump and wrap my legs around my arms, I still have to step up to my arms. A couple days ago, Lisa said, “Ida, you’re so strong. Why don’t you jump your legs around your arms?” I tried and nearly crash landed my face into the mat. Apparently I am not that strong yet. I said, “You know, that just feels a little too scary for me right now.”
“Well, yeah. It is scary. Life is scary,” Lisa said simply.
Hmm, I thought. It’s a lot scarier with pain. People talk about the wonderful bliss one feels after yoga, but I think practice also takes you to those really dark and frustrating moments, too. Working through that is an alchemical process that transforms the mind and and body.