Thinking now specifically about the Bikram Yoga series of postures, how often would you consider the lower back, butt and hamstrings get used?
a) None of the time
b) Some of the time (less than half the series)
c) Most of the time (more than half the series)
d) All the time
So by now you would know (because I keep complaining about it. Sorry, it’s a real pain in the butt. Literally!) that I’ve had pain, since February in my buttock.
Only in the last few weeks did it start causing me so much grief that I had to see a Physio and I only went to the Physio last week. So far so good, I’ve been taking anti-inflammatory drugs and the Physio is treating me with massage and exercises for an inflamed sacroiliac joint. It does however mean that the pain which was concentrated in that joint has now been distributed to the lower back, butt and thigh as well, particularly the ITB and hamstring. I’m even getting pain in my calf now.
This means I can pretty much feel every single time my lower back gets used and when my hamstring and my butt get used for certain postures… because it all hurts. I don’t think there is one posture that I do now without hurting at all, other than savasana. So the answer to my question is D) All the time.
Which leads me to something else I’ve noticed which is quite interesting! The teachers get all corrective on you when you tell them you have pain. They certainly have on me. There’s not one class I’ve been to in the last week where they didn’t call me out on something.
“Joy, suck your stomach in more, MORE, MORE… This is why you have pain!”
“Joy, MORE compression!”
“Joy, sit back more, MORE, now lift your chest higher, sit deeper, back… more, MORE”
“Joy, hip down more, now more forward, this is why you’re having problems, no, more down, down, down, MORE”
WTF? I was supposed to be taking it easy and backing off! What’s with this “JOY… blah blah.. MORE” business? And why have they all chosen different postures to correct? Am I really doing all those postures incorrectly?
Short answer… Yes. Add all the corrections I got to my physical pain and I pretty much have to pretend I’ve just started in order to cope with my regression. Humility is the name of this game.
My half moon pose is now practically upright. Anything to do with head to knee or involves a forward bend has my knee bent a lot, otherwise I’m in pain. I’m practically squatting in Padahastasana. Anything that requires me to push my hips forward causes some pain (half moon back bend, camel, fixed firm, triangle, tree). Leg raises hurt (locust, full locust, bow). All the one leg balancing postures cause pain to the hamstring of the standing leg (Standing head to knee, standing bow, balancing stick). Need I say more? I’m in pain for the entire series. Why wouldn’t I be? I’m in pain when I’m just sitting down!
If ever I thought I was doing well and improving in yoga, that bubble has long been popped. I am definitely back to square one.
There is a positive to all of this. I can only improve from here!