How to Practice When it Hurts

hurt in practice Sep 25, 2020

 

One recurring theme I’ve noticed, both in my own experience and in conversations with others, is the issue of injury in an Ashtanga practice. It’s something we all experience sooner or later, because it really is part of the process, but knowing that doesn’t necessarily make it feel any better in the moment.

Recognize that Ashtanga yoga is a rigorous practice with extreme and demanding postures early in the sequence, for example, standing half lotus. Some degree of pain or discomfort is unavoidable when people start their practice. It takes a long time to learn what your body can safely do on any given day. It takes most students months, if not years, of daily practice to acclimate to their practice.

It’s important to know that experiencing pain doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. Pain is also not necessarily something that someone can fix. Listen to the signals your body is sending in the moment. There is a big difference between...

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