When you are struggling with a great deal of pain and suffering from an accident, scolioses, or an emotional trauma, it can be very stressful. Chances are you are willing to do anything to heal yourself which is why some are learning to practice yoga. However, it is important that if you are going to use this approach, that you give it the respect it deserves so that you can truly reap the benefits. Here are some things to keep in mind when practicing yoga.
Respecting your physical limits is another important aspect of yoga. Our body has its own limits when it comes to stretching, strength, endurance and balance. Flexibility is a good example of this. In each posture, we reach, at a certain point, our maximum or final limits. We then feel a level of intensity that approaches physical pain without causing it.
This threshold varies from day to day and from breath to breath. “We sometimes feel that we are regressing instead of progressing” suggests Kirsty Davis from YogaTrainingGuide.com. “Abandoning yourself to this limit is an important aspect of our learning since it allows us to adapt to any change. Psychologically, it is easier to progress than to regress.”
Take Your Time
However, the execution of a final posture involves a subtle addiction on the psychological level. The tendency to want to quickly reach a final posture prevents us from being receptive to physical feedback and makes us leave a posture in too short a time. By remembering the level of flexibility achieved in a previous practice, we may unconsciously want to reach it at all costs, be satisfied if we reach it, happy if we exceed it and disappointed if we do not succeed.
Using Your Whole Body
Ideally, each posture uses the whole body although we feel a deeper stretch in certain places when performing it. When we reach our maximum limit too quickly, we bypass several steps in posture. We feel the impression of full stretch when the body may not be well aligned or as open as we think it is. Opening the auxiliary musculature of the body before reaching the final posture helps us get the proper alignment and provide a deep stretch in the final posture.
Listen To Your Body
It is very easy to get around the initial limit. This happens when we perform a posture and the body encounters its very first resistance. We first approach the posture with ease until we experience a feeling of blocking or immobilization, the initial limit. It is essential to linger there to let our body adapt to it, realign the posture, become aware of our breathing and deepen it.
We must fix our attention on the sensation felt, wait for it to decrease, let the body go further in the movement and progress towards another stage, and so on until the final stage by deploying very little resistance or of effort. By taking the first steps slowly and calmly, we reach a greater depth in the final posture. To increase physical endurance, we need to stay longer in the early stages of posture and gradually increase the intensity.
The closer we get to the final limit the more the endurance tends to decrease. Learning to keep a posture in the intermediate stages until we can deepen and slow the breathing allows us to relax throughout the process. In addition, approaching a posture in this way provides better alignment and attentive listening to physical feedback and allows us to reach intensity levels without pain while minimizing the risk of injury. The strategy of limits puts us in relation with the sensual nature of the posture and the quality of the feeling of stretching.
Pain and Feedback
It is essential to know how to differentiate pain and intensity. Although the border between these two states may seem blurred, our psychic will inevitably serve as a guide. Indeed, the pain felt is not only physical but also physiological and because of the feeling of discomfort it arouses, we want to leave this state. If we avoid the sensation, it is because of pain. Intensity that is not pain generates energy and a sensual state that transports us.
Fear and ambition often blur our understanding of pain and intensity. When we are afraid of hurting ourselves, we can interpret discomfort as pain and avoid it while ambition makes us more tolerant and insensitive to its presence. When a posture creates a real feeling of fear, it is better not to insist on showing “courage”, because we are more likely to injure ourselves and thus increase the probability of the event happening.
On the other hand, we can experience our limits, find a place in the posture that does not cause any feeling of fear, hold the position, deepen the breathing and wait for the relaxation to cause an opening. If we are generally driven by ambition, it is strongly recommended to stay longer in the first stage and to deepen the posture more slowly. In this way, we develop a sensitivity to physical feedback, which can help us counter this tendency to ignore the messages transmitted by our body.
Pain as such is often difficult to recognize, as it is not necessarily acute, extreme, or synonymous with great intensity. If a fear sets in, even at a low level of pain, this is our limit by definition. It is better to tame your fear by slowly creating an opening rather than forcing your limits.
We all have different ways of avoiding pain: endure courageously until the end of the posture, think about something else, or hasten to leave this state of discomfort. The pain causes a lack of attention in the posture, resulting in a higher risk of injury. In fact, the majority of injuries in yoga come from too much ambition or a state of inattention.
Ambition in practice is defined as follows: retaining the posture according to the predetermined duration, trying to go as far as another participant, trying to unconsciously achieve flexibility levels achieved in the past, or to obtain or reproduce psychic states. Ambition, like comparison, are intrinsic features of the human way of thinking. Therefore, one cannot eliminate this desire by the will since the will itself is a form of ambition. Careful observation of the different stages of a posture allows us to get around the burning desire for success and brings us back to bodily sensations. Ideally, a posture should not cause pain. When we ignore this sensation or try to overcome it, injury results.
Practicing yoga in this state of continuous discomfort alters our attitude towards its actual practice and generates feelings of reluctance. Yoga then becomes a task and not a pleasure. When we ignore this sensation or try to overcome it, injury results. Practicing yoga in this state of continuous discomfort alters our attitude towards its actual practice and generates feelings of reluctance.
Yoga then becomes a task and not a pleasure. When we ignore this sensation or try to overcome it, injury results. Practicing yoga in this state of continuous discomfort alters our attitude towards its actual practice and generates feelings of reluctance. Yoga then becomes a task and not a pleasure. Therefore, it is important that you approach your yoga practice the right way so that you can push yourself while ultimately respecting your body.