Going Backward To Go Forward, Or My Own Kind Of Progress

I finally got back to the hot room this week.  I won’t be going every day for a while, but I’m back!

A handy-dandy visual guide for this post

The hard part about coming back after so long and with an injury (well, there are several “hard parts”, but one in particular) is that there are things you can’t do.  I don’t mean the things you couldn’t do anyway, but things you could do “before”.  It’s a humbling experience.  I’m not vain about much, but there were certain postures I was vain of, and those are, of course. the ones I can barely do anymore.  Mainly this is all about forward bends.  Disk issues in the lower back don’t lend themselves to forward bends.  Trust me.  Back bends, on the other hand, which I have always been terrible at, are great for those disks.

Jump to class.  So, I’ve given myself permission to back off if I feel the slightest twinge of actual pain (as opposed to the joy of stretching), and my back bends suck.  Basically, I’m in the very slightest expression of each posture.  And I’m frustrated.

Now, you’re not supposed to let your mind wander in Bikram Yoga – just keep your eyes on yourself in the mirror, and work really, really hard.  But it’s really, really hard not to have your mind wander when mostly what you can do is work on alignment.  And sometimes that wandering mind is really, really smart.  I know, that’s a lot of “reallys” for one blog, but that’s how I’m feeling it.

And where, you ask, did my mind wander?  Well, you see it in the title of this post.  I realized that this humbling and frustrating experience was, in its own way, good for my practice.  And by extension, a life lesson.  Okay, okay, we’re not supposed to talk about those, just live them, but this matters to me.  While progress by definition is moving ahead, what I’m seeing is that sometimes you have to go backward to go forward.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Alison
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 08:45:06

    Gahhhh, I so know how you feel!!! But I’ll speak to you in the words of my teacher: “work correctly” and “go for form, not depth”. I know, THAT IS NO FUN AT ALL. Seriously, working–I mean REALLY working–on alignment is HARD, but the benefits in the long run will be IMMENSE. So don’t be down on yourself, just take this time to focus on the little things! But yeah, I know, it still sucks. xoxo!


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