Listen to your body…

In yoga, we explore the limitations of a posture by finding our edges – the place where anything more would be too much, but anything less would not be enough. However, like any form of physical activity, yoga practice carries its own risks too – especially for people who push themselves or are pushed by teachers to “achieve” a particular pose. Therefore, it is important to know our own areas of strength and weakness and practise consistently with a teacher we know and trust. To minimize injury risk, both teachers and students need to understand where the body is most likely to get injured in yoga and know how to protect these areas. Yet sometimes, despite the best intention and right practice, “injuries just happen”.
Yoga is supposed to calm, cure, energize and strengthen us but do you know when to push yourself harder and when to listen to your body and its limits? Yoga is only beneficial to us when done correctly but more often than not, we do great injustice to our bodies by demanding superhuman endurance. We all have our limitations and sometimes in an eager bid to compete with ourselves and others, we choose to ignore the warnings that our bodies are trying so hard to tell us and end up getting ourselves injured.
However, it is easier said than done not to compete, I have to agree because I am also guilty of it. I cannot deny that the first time when I saw my classmates doing the headstand effortlessly, I felt the need to catch up immediately even though I have never done it throughout my 3 years’ of yoga practice. I struggled with it even with the wall support and wondered if I would ever achieve it before the end of my course. It seemed that the more anxious I was to get into a headstand, the higher chances of me falling. Last week, I was alone in an empty studio doing my self practice, I slowed down and gave myself time to get into the headstand slowly. To my surprise, I managed to get up without the wall support. I was ecstatic but tried it again and again just to make sure that it was not just a lucky attempt. So there I was, after nearly 3 months of practice, finally able to do my headstand. That also enlightened me that I just need to listen to my body and not rush into things all the time because it is only a matter of time that I will eventually achieve them. And as my classmate, Rose always say, “If it doesn’t come this week, maybe it will come next week?” 😉
Adelene Oh
200hrs Weekend YTTC, Jul-Oct 2013

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