I’d like to add a tad more to Bobbie’s post on injuries below. She’s — unfortunately, fortunately, however you might look at it — much more familiar with practicing while injured than I am.
That said, thanks to my tight quads, I’ve built up a pretty respectable case of tendinitis in my right knee, which is rendering any significant flexion of that knee pretty painful. Out are lotuses and even Janushirasana B.
I’m working on it. And Tim Miller gave me some things to do to try to loosen up those stubborn quads.
David Swenson has this to say in response to someone asking about practicing with a bulging disc and related back problems:
I think that Ashtanga is so special because it is whatever we want it to be. We can make it difficult and dynamic or soft and easy. We can make it into an external display of prowess and physical strength or an internal journey of self-awareness. There are also myriad possibilities between those diverse perspectives. When Pattabhi Jois says “Yoga is not easy” I think this is what he is speaking of. I really do not think he is referring to getting into postures but rather to the internal struggles that manifest within us. These challenging mental and emotional battles many times are triggered from our physical challenges. When we are confronted with bodily pain it is not only that we feel the sensation and discomfort in our body but it is the resultant inability to do what we once could where the deeper pain and frustration resides.
That pretty well sums up my experience with the practice, which — physically at least — comes from a place where finding the full expression of the poses is never easy. And it provides some food for thought when reaching the edge, beyond which lies injury and dis-integrating pain.
Posted by Steve