Yoga Suits Her
I’ve been teaching yoga since 1980. A lot of my identity is tied up with being a yoga teacher. What does that mean? What should that mean? On this site I explore my personal journey and provide commentary on the state of yoga in the twenty-first century. I invite you to have a look and see what may be here for you.
Photo by: Julie Slavin Photography, Old Bar
Why are people reluctant to see a medical or alternative health practitioner when they have a condition or injury that is getting in the way of everyday life?
I’ve run into two friends recently who are dragging their feet about getting treatment. They both have shoulder injuries. (I’m not going to make a big thing about the fact that they are both men.) To be nursing a sore shoulder for weeks and weeks, hoping it will get better in time, doesn’t make sense to me.
In the past I’ve done some surveys of a few individuals regarding the above question. They gave me some helpful insights.
One of them said he wouldn’t get treatment for an ailment or injury because of fear. When I pressed him to expand on what sort of fear might be running him, he said, ‘It’s probably a male thing. One would be seen to be weak or wimpy by going to a doctor or physiotherapist. The thing to do is tough it out and then, with any luck, eventually you’ll get better.’
But not always. A neighbour has been experiencing radiating back pain for the last eight weeks. He has seen no one about it and doesn’t seem to have any interest in doing so. In the meantime, apart from the pain interfering with lots of daily activities, he can’t participate in his passion, which is surfing.
For my part, I don’t understand this mentality. My yoga practice routines, for the most part, help with medical conditions I’ve had or with injuries I’ve sustained. But not always. I don’t unnecessarily seek out doctors or other practitioners. But some of them have been great partners to me in restoring or improving my health. Because I do yoga regularly, I’ll take on board the exercises my physio gives, almost always with good results.
One thing came out of my small sample group that was interesting. It seems that a big inhibitor of getting appropriate treatment is that when a diagnosis is given, then that clearly identifies that there is a problem. No diagnosis, then it’s easy to imagine that there is nothing wrong. This is the head-in-the-sand approach.
Yoga teachers encounter plenty of students who have shoulder complaints: rotator cuff injuries, nerve impingements, bicep tendonitis and the like. These partly arise because the students are in an older age demographic. Their lifestyle is becoming more sedentary and their bodies less muscular. They lose some of their upper body strength, but still try to keep up with workouts. Or, they might be gardening, moving house or even doing yoga practice. One quick, wrong move, and there’s trouble.
Here’s the thing. If physical problems don’t get too imbedded, then recovery time will be relatively short. But, the longer the injury or condition is untreated, rehabilitation may take many months instead of weeks. Head-out-of-the-sand approach will save time, energy and pain!
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The Previous 3 Posts
Every day of the week except Sundays I do a yoga practice in The Shed from 7:30-9 am. You can pretty well set your clock by me.Lately, and in anticipation of a workshop I’m leading this next weekend, I’ve been mixing up the usual practices I do of a morning.Instead of a strict physical practice which I love–standing poses, inversions, backbends, forward bends–I’ve been doing more meditation and pranayama. […]
The first time I went on a meditation retreat, I could not for the life of me imagine how I could find the time for it. Between teaching, running my yoga studio, and doing my own yoga practice, it was never going to happen. Then it dawned on me. I could just take out my diary (this was well before google calendars) and mark out the required days. So, I did. I drew a line through the ten days that the vipassana retreat was scheduled for and made a mental fence around those dates. Subsequently, everything fell into place. […]
I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, visiting family in the U.S. When I came back to Australia, I went on retreat for 8 days.I want to share with you a few things I learned on this hiatus. These are insights that I might even categorise as spiritual practice.Gifts From My FamilySpending time with my family is sometimes the toughest test of my life commitment to be kind and non-reactive. However, in the company of my family, when I reacted in a non-loving way, this is when I got to practice forgiving myself. […]
I know, I know. Yoga teachers all want to teach remotely. I’ve been no exception. Here are some video and audio productions that I’ve made. Not many – it’s something that I alway mean to get around to.
No, I’m not selling yoga mats or clothing. I don’t even have a t-shirt… yet. But from time to time I find myself with something that someone may want. Have a look, I’m never sure what you’ll find.