Third-party validation: Yes, that hurt

Last night* I was cruising along through my Ashtanga practice, pausing things only occasionally so Bobbie and I could laugh about something that happened.

Quick detour.

I suppose someone very, very strict might frown upon the idea of pausing for a quick laugh, but having been in Tim Miller’s often light-hearted Mysore and Led classes, I find it hard to find anything wrong with a little levity, a little lightness, during an Ashtanga practice. That can go too far, of course, but if it doesn’t — no harm, I believe.

Back to practice.

I was at the finishing headstand; the move to lower the legs has always been tough for me, thanks to the limited flexibility. But I’ve been working on it, trying to get the legs ever lower. And for whatever reason — the stiff yoga initiative, maybe? — I think there’s been some progress lately.

So down the legs came, little by little.

And then. A tweak. A clench? Something there in my lower back, to the right side. Maybe.

So up the legs go. Pause for a few breaths, while thinking, “Did that just hurt? Why would it? Nah, couldn’t have been.” And down the legs come.

I’m fine, I assured myself.

At which point, I heard Bobbie ask, “Are you alright?”

I sat up from child’s pose. “Yes,” I said, in that hesitant way we all say things hesitantly. “Why…?”

“It just sounded like maybe something…” Bobbie began.

“Then, no,” I said, cutting her off. “I was hoping I was. But if you heard it. My lower back.”

Would it have hurt if I’d been practicing alone? I’ll never know. I wonder, though, if we are any more or less likely to ignore relatively minor pains if we’re alone or otherwise unnoticed. Would I have just willed my way forward?

Maybe this is an asana version of a tree falling in a forest?

* Yes, at night. I was able to work my schedule for a few days to allow for evening practice. Sue me.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

2 thoughts on “Third-party validation: Yes, that hurt”

  1. Steve, I am going to ask a silly question, maybe… Have you ever tried doing 10 A’s followed by 10 B’s then two of each sets of poses through half the series? And think tailbone moves first with mula bandha then waist after the tailbone has moved through its range. It may be another way in. Also green juice two hours before practice.

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