My left shoulder is hurting again.
And by again, I mean still.
I initially injured my shoulder falling on it on pavement back in 2000.
In the dark.
In front of a busy hotel.
Over a crack in the sidewalk.
Totally completely and utterly jet-lagged as I had just returned from London the night before.
In other words, I had absolutely zero warning that I was about to kill my shoulder.
The day after I fell I went to the doctor and had it x-rayed because I thought I broke my shoulder (ha – It’s only 9 years later that I know there is NO shoulder bone!) and the doctor told me it was just deeply bruised. I needed to rest it and eventually it would be fine.
I did my best to rest it while still taking twice a week yoga classes. Every time we went into Downward Facing Dog I would suffer through the discomfort in my shoulder and wonder why people kept claiming this was a resting pose. I thought everyone felt the same discomfort and pressure in their shoulder that I did.
I thought that I was just doing the pose wrong. If I only practiced it more, I’d get better and my shoulder would stop hurting.
The only relief I found was coming out of the dreaded dog and putting myself in Child’s Pose with my arms wrapped around my feet.
It wasn’t long and something else caught my attention and I quit yoga.
Eventually my shoulder felt better. Or at least I didn’t notice it.
When I started practicing yoga regularly and the shoulder discomfort came back with a vengeance. Oddly, instead of listening to my inner voice screaming to stop doing what hurts, I just kept doing what the teacher asked.
And that was a lot of dog.
It wasn’t until we started talking about developing a home practice during teacher training that I started to think about what would help me feel better. Not doing every pose the class because someone went through a lot of planning and because I didn’t want anyone to think I couldn’t keep up.
If for nothing else, I’m so glad I decided to do the teacher training because it really deepened my own practice. Not so much the physical practice, but the practice of listening to my body and asking it what it needs to feel best.
So in order to really listen to what my body needs, until further notice – NO MORE DOG.
My fellow YTT, Bob, killed his pigeon and now I’m killing the dog.
If you set your mat up next to mine, please remind me to kill the dog.
Today’s music is Volume One by She and Him
Don’t forget FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online www.itsallyoga.com. — I’m teaching 3/5/10!