February 26 | The Practice |
I participated in my first-ever Yoga Six Challenge during the month of February, and here’s a little update on my yoga journey:
I chose the sixteen-class option, because even though I am in the studio almost every day, committing to go seven days a week simply was not realistic to me, especially with knowing we had planned trips out of town and events this month.
This challenge is right on point for me, because it only required that I take classes—any classes—while the points are awarded for any class. Prior to last month, I liked to alternate on the types of classes I took. A typical week was usually: vinyasa, restorative, vinyasa, deep stretch, vinyasa. However, in early January, during class, I misplaced weight on my left wrist and I injured it pretty bad.
I tried everything to get rid of the pain—icing it, elevating it, stretching it, taking NSAIDs—but nothing worked. I made a point to stay off of it, and even stopped going to vinyasa because I couldn’t see how I could make it through the class without being able to put any weight on my left wrist, what with all the down dogs, chaturangas, side planks, and other poses that make up most of the class. So, I started attending flow almost every day, which usually includes optional chaturangas, and little wrist balancing poses.
Though I continued to have a lot of pain in my wrist, when I mentioned it to one of my instructors, she instantly said, “Acupuncture!” I had never tried acupuncture before, but at that point, after a few weeks of pain I could not manage to subside no matter what I did or didn’t do, I figured it was worth a shot.
Miraculously, the day after my first treatment, I woke up with virtually zero wrist pain, and have not felt any pain since. Still, I’ve been a little over-protective of my wrist since then, babying it, afraid of weakness and thus, injuring it again. I managed to get to flow or deep stretch nearly every day.
I was on track to finish the sixteen-class challenge with just three classes left until I had another injury. Despite the evidence to the contrary, I have never broken or sprained anything before, and to have two injuries so close together—not to mention during this challenge—is something that has never happened to me. So, on February 17, my challenge days came to a quick halt.
What I initially thought was a high ankle sprain turned out to be a break across my malleolus at the end of my fibula. Though I’ve been told I can start walking again, putting weight on it, and even practicing yoga, I also have to let pain be my guide.
As someone who considers myself pretty active, going to yoga five to six times each week, it’s been difficult to stop my practice so suddenly, especially in the middle of a challenge I was on track to finish with just a few classes left. Maybe I’ll be able to swing these last three classes to complete the challenge in the next few days. Maybe not. While this month and challenge began with caring for my wrist, has now ended with even more cautiousness and a fracture.
For me, yoga is just as much mental as it is physical, and being off the mat for this long has been a challenge in and of itself.
How do you cope with injuries that require you to scale back your practice? Do you experience yoga as more of a mental or physical practice?
Send your responses to Julia at JSparkman@yogasix.com by March 12th for a chance to win a free class for you or a friend!
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