Push harder or do less???
I’ve spoken with a lot of people over the many years that I’ve been teaching yoga classes. So many of those people have been focused on fixing one thing or another. That’s often what brings them into on of my classes. There is the desire to fix something fast so that you can get back to what you really want to do.
I get that. I’ve been injured (many times) & had to work around that injury in order to still practice yoga. I know the frustration of not being able to do what was once easy for you to do. I also know the desire to have it fixed fast and be done with whatever the issue is. I’ve been there & I’ve been impatient right along with you.
Pushing yourself harder while your body is still healing can be counter productive though.
Sometimes what we really need is rest or a slower practice.
Sometimes your body is ready to be pushed so that you can get stronger and more flexible and begin to be more like your previous self.
So, how do you know the difference?
This is something that I work on with my clients A LOT. This is a process of getting to know your own body and honoring where it is in any given moment.
Have you ever noticed that some days your strength seems to be gone, you’re tighter than normal, or your endurance just isn’t the same?
It happens to all of us. We are not the same from minute to minute or from day to day. Some days we got ‘It’ and some days we don’t This is normal. Yes, you too are normal when you notice these day to day changes in yourself.
The real key to honoring your body whether it is injured or healthy is to practice awareness of how you feel in the moment. Then, depending on how you feel or what your body is needing, you change, shift or alter your yoga practice or exercise routine based on what you notice right now.
Here’s an example of how this might work for you.
You’ve decided that you want to be a runner. You’ve been running a couple of times a week and plan to go for a run in the morning. Then, you toss and turn all night & wake up exhausted.
Your body is saying ‘No!’ to the idea of going for a run.
Your mind is saying that it was on your schedule, you wanted to run more often & so you should just get out of bed, put on your shoes & run whether you feel like it or not.
Which do you choose?
If you go for the run even though you are exhausted, you might be too tired to pay attention to what you are doing. Next thing you know you’ve pulled a muscle or tripped over a bump in the road & you are injured. Now, your body is going to force you to slow down whether you like it or not.
If instead you choose to listen to your body when it says that it doesn’t have the energy to run this morning, then you might decide to go for a gentle walk around your neighborhood. You will still be moving your body, getting some exercise and breathing in some fresh air. But instead of overdoing it, you are paying attention to where you walk and you end up feeling refreshed, ready for your day.
Which would you choose?
I know there are times in my life, when I would have chosen to run anyway & I would have gotten injured.
Now, though, I listen to my body in a much deeper way. When I step on my mat for my morning practice intending to do 10-15 minutes of Sun Salutations & my body says ‘NO’ after the first one, I’ll listen & slow way down. Sometimes I’ll hang out in Child’s Pose for 5 minutes before I do anything else. Then, I feel ready to move a bit more.
When I listen to my body in this way, then I finish my practice energized and ready for my day. It often doesn’t matter if I’ve pushed harder in my practice or gone really easy. The important part is that I listened to my body’s needs in that moment.
I love private sessions with clients…
Group classes are great because you get to practice in the energy of others. When I give private sessions, I get to customize the session to just what my client needs in the moment. This is important for people who need the ability to customize your yoga practice to your own needs because you have injuries or issues that prevent you from joining in those group classes.
Even if you have an injury (old or new) that you need to work around, I believe there is still a yoga practice for you. If you listen closely to what your body needs and wants, then you can still move your body in ways that honor it instead of harming it.
I start off each private session by checking in and asking how you feel. I help you cultivate that awareness in your body so that you begin to listen inward in a deeper way. You’ll begin to notice whether you can push your body more or if you need to take it easier.
If the only thing that I teach you in a private session is how to more deeply listen to your own body, then I’ll feel quite satisfied. You can then take those new skills and use them throughout your life.
If you’d like to find out if a private yoga session is right for you, then schedule a free call with me to talk about your needs and goal. Together, we can decide what would work best for you.
Love & Hugs,