I’ve been feeling decidedly cranky today. It’s been really cold, and when the temperature drops, I get ravenously hungry – hence the crankiness. So, when I sat down for some Yoga today, I couldn’t even decide on a style of practice for today’s class (YogaVibes again).
I finally settled on a restorative practice, but my mind was too agitated and my ego took over during a strap-assisted hamstring stretch. I felt only the slightest pinch, but it was enough to know that I’d stretched the muscle beyond its limits.
I took the rest of the day off, not even foam-rolling the area for fear of aggravating a possible injury. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow and proceed accordingly; worst case scenario, I’ll just have to stay away from any posterior chain exercises and hamstring stretches.
It was quite a wake up call. One of the things I’m trying to explore during this challenge is listening to my body. I may have to deal with an injury – it remains to be seen how serious it is – because I dived mindlessly into a practice that requires above all mental focus. However, as much as I may want to castigate myself over it, the fact is that I pulled back as soon as I felt the muscle give that characteristic twinge (I’ve experienced it enough times to recognize it). I doubt I’d have done that much in the past. Instead, I’d have pushed through the discomfort, making matters even worse in the process.
Over the years, I had a handful of certified trainers tell me that I was being overcautious in my workouts, and that I should be more aggressive. And what followed, almost without fail, was injury. Despite being counterproductive, those kind of remarks stayed with me and led to even accumulating injuries.
I’m trying to correct that kind of attitude now, though not always succeeding at it. Still, accepting I know my body better than almost anyone else and learning to listen to its signals is something I’m willing to persevere in. After all, isn’t that what Yoga is about? The attunement, as I like to think of it, of mind and body?