Where those mysterious little aches and pains come from

During our Yatra, we are re-posting some of our top posts from the past 16 or so months. We’ll also try to get new posts up from India, Internet access-willing. *** Yesterday I was going about my usual afternoon business when I reached up to scratch behind my right ear, and I discovered a sore … Continue reading Where those mysterious little aches and pains come from

The prep for real pain and suffering

While working more deliberately with my breath recently — especially during the past week or so, which is really too short a time to take seriously — one of the starkest pieces of information I’ve received about which poses are the most demanding can be broken into two categories: The poses that are so difficult, … Continue reading The prep for real pain and suffering

Another way to think about pain in the Ashtanga practice

The question of pain — perhaps even more precisely, the value of pain — in the Ashtanga practice has been a popular one here. I think our most popular post on the topic was this one: “Why Ashtanga won’t ever be popular.” David Williams probably is the most famous for promoting a pain-free practice. Bobbie … Continue reading Another way to think about pain in the Ashtanga practice

The point of pain: Progress

My practice on Sunday was one of those practices. Stiff. Achy. Unusually tight. Lots of things hurting a little. We’ve written a bunch about pain and injury in Ashtanga (and often, so have readers). We all know that no two people have the same definition or understanding of what pain is, of what “good pain” … Continue reading The point of pain: Progress

Knee pain? Here’s something to think about.

To begin, a brief medical history. And I’ll try to make this as non-tedious as possible. A few years back, I began having some really annoying pain. . .in my knee. This is a dreaded Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga phenomenon. I’d discovered that under the right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it) conditions, … Continue reading Knee pain? Here’s something to think about.

DG responds to everyone upset with his take on pain

David Garrigues has responded to those who didn’t react especially favorably to his newsletter piece last week on pain. Given all the traffic and comments we had, I can only imagine what DG got. He says about 15% didn’t get his point or were upset. Here’s a bit from his response, and you can read … Continue reading DG responds to everyone upset with his take on pain

Reminder: Ashtanga’s experts on injury and pain

Given all the discussion since Friday about pain and injury, I’m going to take the scoundrel’s route and re-post some links we put up last winter. That post was in reaction to a similar topic. It’s a little pull-together of some of Ashtanga’s luminaries on the topic du weekend: pain. The impetus then, much as … Continue reading Reminder: Ashtanga’s experts on injury and pain

Some real pain: The aftermath of the Indian flooding

I’m not quite sure this counts as a counter pose (post?) to our terrific discussion of pain and Ashtanga, but it at least is a reminder of the pain that happens off the mat. The flooding last month in northern Indian, now getting the moniker the “Himalayan tsunami,” caused by early monsoon rains, continues to … Continue reading Some real pain: The aftermath of the Indian flooding

Ashtanga and pain, and Hanuman

Ah, pain. There’s nothing quite like it. And, often, there’s nothing quite like talking about (or complaining about) it. Given the intense asana nature of Ashtanga, pain (and injury) is almost a natural topic. There was David Garrigues’ great video on the topic a while back. This month, along with the piece on asana as all … Continue reading Ashtanga and pain, and Hanuman

The mystery of back pain

First, a little background: I’ve been in chronic back pain since 1994. The cause of the pain is a prematurely degenerating spinal column: The whole thing, from cervical to lumbar, and including the sacrum and hip joints. Falling apart. “You have the spine of a 60-year-old,” I was told when I 30. For the past … Continue reading The mystery of back pain