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hamstrings vs. ego

After much ado and farting around post holidays, I am certified in Multi-Dimensional Yoga for 200-hours. Congrats to moi. In terms of teaching, this is foundational knowledge. A friend with many hundreds of hours of teaching and training teachers told me 200-hour certification is the equivalent of saying one knows how to read. Like ESL, but in yoga.

It was quite a adventure. Often exhausting, confounding and mostly fun. I got bronchitis towards the end, as I am prone to repsiratory ailments, what with the asthma and all, and having picked up smoking again for a couple months. Stress, overwhelm, time management conflicts. These were my excuses. They did not save me from the fact that smoking is not something my body can handle anymore. Even really nice, expensive, practically cigar-fancy, cigarettes like menthol cloves and Shermans.

There it is, the problem that plagues me: wanting things to be different than they are. "Fighting with reality," as the amazing Pam Shaw, spiritual guide #1 calls it. This plays out daily in my life, in fact, yoga helps ease the discomfort these battles cause. Acceptance and compromise are the answer, but, boy oh boy do I hate to compromise. "Everything is a compromise," my yoga teacher Tom always says. Like bending my knees in forward bends and straddle postures because it seems I have aggravated the tendon of my left


This is a common injury in yoga, mainly due to overuse and weak or tight hamstrings. And, in my case, ego terrorism. I want to do things perfectly, all the time. More delusion, I know, but true nonetheless. So I push. I don't bend my knees, I breathe deeper, I go further. I stop going to the gym to strengthen muscles that would support the weak area: glutes, core, low back. Pain. Physical therapy gives me some relief, but my practice is not as crazily intense and athletic as I like it to be. I religiously perform the physcial therapy exercises at home. I rest. I do more Yin Yoga. Healing hamstrings is long and slow. Not two of my favorite words.

Today I had an MRI. Soon I'll know if there is a tear, how bad it is and whether I can continue with 300-hour certification. Tom asked me what my plan was to prevent further injury during training. I had none, of course, but on the spot we came up with it: bend the knees, use props, go slow, shorten my stance in straddles, be extra mindful. I hate all of that, but I don't want to tear my hamstring. They can take up to a year to heal.

The ego can be such an implacable obstacle.

Literally, it is a pain in the butt. The origin of the hamstring tendon is in the sitting bone, located at the bottom of the glutes, as the bacon people illustration shows (I know, I just call the anatomy figure drawings that because they remind me of raw bacon, red and white). Sitting for long periods can be quite painful. My day job as a writer, features much sitting.

Why should it be different? Corina, my Yin teacher alwsys asks this question when we are in some anguish-inducing pose for 5 minutes. Just beacuse I don't like the present moment does not make it less valuable, in fact, the opposite is true. One of the goals of yoga, all yoga, is transforming desire and aversion into equanimity: ease and steadiness regardless of circumstance. Freedom from the ego, the thinking, the same old stories playing over and over agian is the goal. So, everything is just right.

It's good to be back here writing about yoga. I missed this. More to come about teacher training, injury and ego. And Yin.

And some fun stuff. Maybe a new video. Of bacon people. Doing yoga.



#yinyoga #yoga #delusional #ego #hamstring #tendinitis #injury

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