Saturday, February 13, 2010

Are you argueing with your body?


One day in my yoga class I had a student that was arguing with her body during practice. I took notice right away and after the third or fourth argument I smiled and walked over and laid a gentle hand on her and said, “it’s all ok, just let it go”.

After class she came up to me and said “You saw me? I could do high to low plank in our last practice just fine and today, I can’t! I am so frustrated!” My response was and is “We all go through this and it will not be the last time this occurs! :-)”

Instead of feeling frustrated, embarrassed or passing judgment on yourself, just try to remain objective and just take note. As different parts of your body open up, this can cause a re-adjustment or a shift to happen elsewhere in your body. Your body is used to functioning a certain way day in/day out so when you are conditioning a part of your body to do something different, become better aligned more balanced, it can then impact parts of your body that seem totally unrelated to you, but are completely connected. This may mean you will have the ability to do certain posture(s) better than before and can’t do another posture as well as you did yesterday for awhile, and that is OK!

You may have also injured or strained certain muscles in work or daily activities that can cause your body to shout or be reluctant to participate in certain postures. It is a process not an end result so just let it all unfold remembering to modify when needed. As you are beginning it is very difficult to notice everything that is going on with your body, over time as you learn the postures and use your breath you will begin to become more and more aware of your body and what it is telling you.

I am in tune with my body through every step of the practice. I am checking in with my body through the entire practice quickly evaluating how my muscles are doing…. Hamstrings tight, lower back is open, shoulders tight, spine is flexing well etc.

About 6 months ago, through my yoga practice, I became aware that I had limited flexibility in postures that caused me to bend deep from my hips or to balance on my sit bone. My lower lumbar was screaming at me weekly and I decided to look into it a bit more and found that my coccyx was tucked under significantly (90 degrees), the normal coccyx should be tucked under at 30 degrees. I was reminded of an injury I had when I was a kid when I got kicked really hard in the tailbone, man oh man it hurt, but through life I never challenged my body enough in areas that would cause me to notice the injury. I had seemingly unrelated symptoms throughout the years, but never really looked into the cause, I just took Tylenol or Advil every night before bed to dull the discomfort and thought nothing of it! (Stay tuned for a later blog)

Once I made the connection, I got consistent therapy work done, to unwind my coccyx. I then found my body shifting again. My balance which is usually the most stable and consistent came off in my practice, but I started noticing that my lower lumbar slowly stopped screaming and I was able to fold into postures unlike any other time. So as I was unlocking one part of my body, my body was adjusting in other areas.

It is interesting how your body needs a little time to readjust and then finds its way back to where it ought to be. I was back on track in my practice again within 5 – 7 days.

Another example of change in my postures is when I returned from a trip in August, I could not hold revolving crescent lunge with any balance. For a little over two weeks, I struggled to stay balanced in that posture. You will see this in my level II asana practice in my DVD :-). After those few short weeks of imbalance, my body opened up deeper than ever before … How Interesting!

So, cut yourself some slack in your practice and be aware of what is going on with your body but don’t judge! You are evolving in so many ways so just allow it to happen and try to stay true and consistent with a regular dose of practices and watch what unfolds!

I love this and I hope you do too!Let me know how you are coming along in your practice and what you are noticing in your everyday life and horsemanship. Join ZennerYoga Facebook Fan Page and post your progress or write me with questions at This will help me help you and others at the same time!
Be Blessed,
Theresa Zenner

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