Pain, go away…

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.

2 thoughts on “Pain, go away…

  1. I empathize, obviously. The pain thing is something to pay attention to. I’m learning to distinguish between those fluke aches and pains that seem to travel around the body vs. long standing pain. In either case, it’s good to communicate what’s going on with your teacher, just so that you don’t get pushed past your limit without them knowing. And yes, pain certainly makes it harder to get over the fear to do things!

    I rediscovered a great video from David Garrigues a few weeks ago about processing mental/physical reactions in practice: It suggests “making space” for the unpleasant sensations so that we may observe them.

    Also funny that you posted a video from Maria Villela. I’ve been watching them too and coveting the jump throughs 🙂

  2. Yes, paying attention is definitely key. I’m still trying to learn how to distinguish between those fluke aches and pains and the more chronic kind. It’s still hard for me to communicate that to my teacher…need to look at that. Maybe it’s sort of admitting defeat? Ah, that darn ego comes up again!! Thanks for the video link by David Garrigues — I love his website.

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