Damn you, rotator cuffs!

Eversince YTT, I’ve been injuring my shoulders quite a bit. To be honest, my right rotator cuff hurts so bad now that I can hardly lift my arm without wincing, so it looks like I’ll have to take it easy tonight.

This is my bad. My jump backs & jump throughs are so horrendous and I might have placed too much pressure on my shoulders whenever I practiced them. Not to mention, I enjoy practicing inversions and arm balances as well, so I’m guessing I pushed myself too hard and didn’t look after my body properly.

So along with studying for anatomy along with some reading up, I realised that the shoulder is the most unstable joint despite being the most mobile of the lot. The shoulders play a big role, allowing us to perform simple tasks in our everyday lives and we use our shoulders in a lot of Asanas as well. The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint and is quite shallow, allowing the looseness of the joint which lets one enjoy freedom of movement, yet ironically makes the joint very unstable and vulnerable. Upon reading a little further, I read that injuring your shoulder can lead to impingement syndrome, which could cause inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons or even a rotator cuff tear – which got me a tad worried since this isn’t my first shoulder injury.

Needless to say, if you’ve injured your shoulder, DO NOT STRAIN IT ANY FURTHER.

But if you simply feel that your shoulders are weak, these are a few things you can do to strengthen them:

1) Going from Adho Mukha Svanasana to Plank Pose and back again. The shoulder is best stabilized with moderate external rotation from the Plank Pose, activating and strengthening the teres minor and infraspinatus.

2) Doing a long series of standing poses. Abducting your arms works the supraspinatus and makes it stronger.

3) Practice poses which allow for internal rotation of the shoulders. For example, Gomukhasana B, Parsavttanasana and Marichyasana III. This will contract and strengthen the subscapularis.

I really never realised how vital shoulder movement is till joining YTT. And it was only when I first injured my rotator cuff when I felt somewhat disabled and also felt as though I hit a major setback.

But I have learned something from this injury though – To have some patience and faith. As horrible as it is to not be able to practice the way I’d like, I do believe that once the injury is healed, I will emerge a stronger being, be it physically, mentally or spiritually 🙂

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

Zen Law