After a few positive in roads and a few more negative in roads, the hamstring issue was still finding itself alive and well! Two steps forward, a few back, two back, a mini-one forward and then what appeared to be just ‘back’.
Thus I very tentatively made my way to class on Tuesday night – tenatively being more psychological than physical. I had reached a level of feeling a bit teary as being a person of forward progress, I was emotionally starting to really struggle with being held back and not engaging in class from the strong place where I like to be. I could feel my ‘match fitness’ for class beginning to decline and that was also hard.
One thing is for sure in Bikram yoga – doing the postures on both sides is absolutely critical and so important – something which I may never have fully understood if this injury had not happened and my postures were not being done to the left side for what has felt like an eternity. I have also found that it is psychologically and physically harder to the class just doing it predominately to one side. The postures are designed in their specific sequence to give maximum benefit to all of the muscles, organs, bones, tissues and blood vessels of the body. When you are intensely holding a posture on one side, the rhythym is there to then move smoothly and carefully to the next side. This momentum allows the body to safely come out of the posture it has just been in, and sets up the balance it will feel by doing the same thing to the other side.
To stop in the middle of that momentum and just stand still, and not ‘go through’ to the other side, places pressure on your breathing as your breathing is no longer in the fluid momentum of the postures. You return to standing and your breathing suddenly has ‘no where to go’ and thus pounds out your chest. It then makes it quite a challenge to re-gain momentum through that, and rejoin the next set of postures.
All in all it has been a fascinating insight into the balance of the practice and the balance of the class. Despite my groaning and feeling sorry for myself, I am absolutely grateful for what this has taught me about the practice. I am heading off to LA in September to do the teacher training and knowing that I want to be the best teacher I can be, any knowledge about the practice, the effects of the practice, and the effects of of injury on our practice is so incredibly valuable.
My hamstrings are definitely a specific type of window to a lot right now!