I went to see an orthopedic recently. I had been having this dull pain in my right wrist for about a month now thinking that perhaps it’s the increase of frequency in yoga I had been doing lately and secretly hoping that it would go away on its own. Part of me was thinking that it’s too small of a matter to fuss about and the other part of me was convinced it’s all part of the process of conditioning my body to getting stronger through my practice.
Let me be the first to say that your own safety should always be a priority when it comes to practicing yoga, or practicing any sort of exercise for that matter. There are always counter poses for certain asanas that temporarily exert a heightened amount of pressure on a specific part of your body which must immediately follow after to relief that pressure and to avoid injury.
In this past one month, I went from regular once-a-week Iyengar style yoga to thrice-a-week combination of Iyengar, beginners Ashtanga and some restorative Yin Yoga thrown into it. The thing about attending classes at a completely different studio than what I have been used to is that I get to meet other people in various levels of practice – and that means seeing lithe, young women bend and folding forward like they are born without hamstrings in their legs. Admittedly, the competitiveness in me always kicks in at the wrong time and I have had occasions where I too, convinced that I could be a yogi-hero for the day push my body more than what it is ready to do.
As a result, I accumulated mild injuries in the last month more than I ever had in my history of exercising. Although there are no broken bones, bruises or snapped ligaments (*touch wood*) the discomfort is there to remind me that perhaps I should try to be less of yogi-hero and move forward into my practice at my own pace. I guess trying to keep up with the Joneses does no good for anyone, even if you are an aspiring yogi.
I received a 10 minutes crash course on the anatomy of a human hand when the doctor whipped out his pen and paper and started to draw all the tiny bones, muscles and ligaments. It looked like little pebbles and sticks lined up to what looks like the skeletal of a human hand. I was actually enjoying this whole lesson, feeling like I was back in high school Biology class when he eventually broke the bubble and said “It should heal in 6 weeks time”
When I complained that it is far too long to stay off my classes he proceeded to tell me that broken bones require 42 weeks to heal. In both cases, there is nothing else one can do but refrain from injuring it any further and allow for the infinite intelligence of your own body to heal itself – with time. I guess I can’t argue much further with that. To make me feel better though, he confirmed that sometimes these mild injuries are common in an effort to build strength in your own body.
And hence I am rolling up my yoga mat for 6 weeks from now. The old saying goes “Time heals all wound”, including hopefully the micro-tears in the ligaments of my right wrist.