An early start this morning. Aches in the left hip and shoulder are still present. Hmm, left side. Working through my practice I was aware of these areas and took notice of 2 things: 1) at what point in a pose do I feel discomfort. 2) Does the discomfort persist or does it dissipate with focused breathing? We are always told by our teachers to ‘breath into the hip or shoulder or any area where we experience discomfort.’
Keeping these thing in mind, I was able to comfortably progress through my practice. Usually Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (standing half-bound lotus) is one my stronger poses. But today I noticed discomfort in my left hip crease while balancing on my left foot. My awareness of this discomfort brought my attention to my standing leg, which was shaking under the strain of my body weight and perhaps the weakness in my hip. Seeing all of these signs, I decided to slowly come out of the pose rather than force myself to deal with it.
Being kind to the body should not be seen as a cop out. We have a long time (hopefully) to work with our bodies. Today I responded to my body when it said ‘ouch’ and gave it relief so that I could continue with the rest of my practice. There is so much more to do in primary series. I won’t push myself to try and get through it quickly at the expense of my heath. Obviously, this is not the point of the practice. More on discomfort and pain in my next post.