When we exert ourselves and push ourselves further than we think we can go, truly incredible things can often result. We lift more, we go further, we go faster, we are capable of many amazing feats.
But don’t forget to stop and take feedback from your body, listen to it and react accordingly.
When a yoga pose is done correctly and held for an extended period of time (hello chair pose!) you can often begin to feel that raw heat and burn in your muscles. It’s your body’s feedback to let you know that you’re working hard, it’s a good indicator that you’re improving.
But what about when a yoga pose isn’t done right, or if your body isn’t in the right state to perform it? We can cause a lot of damage doing the wrong things for the right reason, which is why it’s important to listen to your body and adjust your workout appropriately.
Your instructor, not just in yoga, will normally provide feedback as to how a pose or action should be feeling and, although everyone is different, you should monitor how your body is reacting against what you should expect to be feeling. If your yoga teacher says that pigeon pose is all about the hips, but you are only feeling it in your knees; it might be best to adjust to a pose more suited to your level of fatigue.
If you’re doing an ab class that’s all about your core you should feel the burn in your stomach, not pain in your back. If you do feel pain (not burn) it’s important to adjust the workout to your current state and prevent yourself from doing harm.
The burn is good, but pain is your body’s way of letting you know that something isn’t right. Don’t ignore your body, you only get one and you have to keep it for your whole life. Lastly, if you are feeling pain but don’t know what to do about it – bring it up with your teacher! Teachers here to help you and by bringing it up for discussion maybe you’ll give some assistance to someone else in the same boat.
How do you cope with your body when it shouts “pain” at you? Do you have any good knee-friendly hip opening suggestions for this author? Leave a comment below or contact me on twitter (@faultykyle) and let me know!