19 August, 2014

Almost private lessons

Today was gentle yoga with Elizabeth McElveen at The White Studio.

There are distinct advantages to taking class with a teacher who is your friend, in a class that has only 3 students. The "distinctest" of those advantages is that, when you tell the teacher that you just injured your back and may not be able to do Warriors or Crescent Lunges, she says "OK. Today, we won't do any Warriors or Crescent Lunges!" How's that for first-class treatment, right?

I hadn't expected that, of course, and was mostly just trying to make her aware of my limitations. But Elizabeth, amazing as she is, decided that we could craft a class in a different way (easy to do, when not beholden to Baptiste, or Bikram, or any of these demi-gods). Instead, we did Half Moon against the wall, and we did Moon Salutations, and we did plenty of stretches on the floor.

Day 2 of my back episode is worse than the first day was, because inflammation has got my body saying "No!" to back bending. Even such things as Upward Dog went from uncomfortable, on the first or second try, to verboten from there on after.

It's hard to say no to something as fundamental as Upward Dog. But why? It's just another pose. If it doesn't serve my body, I should say no to it, without feeling shame, frustration, or whatever. If I am careful, and do not do this pose that hurts me, it will be crystal clear, at some point to come, when I find myself able to do it again without pain.

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