We’ve got a new “Ask the Experts” from Richard Freeman, this time focused on handling injuries.
Link is right here. And here’s a snippet:
Working carefully and intelligently with injury is an important part of any yoga practice. Yoga should make the body healthier rather than harming it. Though one has to be intelligent rather than fanatical and mechanical. Having a good teacher to give guidance and feedback, and listening carefully to the internal cues that your body is giving you is very important.
Two things jump out at me (and feel free to comment on something else that jumps out at you from that paragraph or from his whole answer). The first is the focus on having a teacher. (I’m practicing at home? Where’d you hear that? Move along, nothing to see here.) We all know that’s key, of course.
The second is the warning about being “fanatical and mechanical.” I’ll go out on a limb and say: That pretty much sums up a lot of Ashtangis. We get up early. We practice hard. We limit our off-the-mat life style choices. Or, as Tim Miller has said, it’s the yoga of no.
Of course, there’s a bit of the “mechanical” inherent in the Ashtanga system. It’s the same set of poses each time, strung together in the same way. My sense, though, is that Richard is reminding us that we shouldn’t be a slave to that system; if something isn’t working, think about why and think about what might work better.
From my experience, the senior (and/or best) Ashtanga teachers understand this and work with the system to make it most beneficial for their students.
Yes, it is the “research” idea that has become a bit of a theme here. Think, reflect, wonder, improve — “Yoga should make the body healthier rather than harming it.”
Posted by Steve