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Getting Sore from Yoga? Here’s What to Do

Getting sore during 20 in 30? Or from yoga in general? It happens! And it’s totally normal and natural. There are some things you can do about it. And things can go terribly wrong if you don’t slow down and take care of yourself. I know all about that!

As a fitness addict, you need to take days off. I stil have a hard time with that. I have the tendency to overdo my workouts. I’ll double up on classes multiple days in a row and never give my body a break. Part of it is because I love yoga and the other part is I love the calorie burn. I recently got a slap in the face when I suffered not one, not two, but three injuries in the same month.

My first injury was my hamstring. At first I thought it was just tight or sore. It was hurting when I would walk quickly, and if I would try to run, it would start killing me! I told myself to fight through the pain and do the workout anyway. I even convinced myself that yoga might make it better! “Stretching is good!” I said to myself. Well, not in this case. Stretching it hurt more. Finally, I told myself I had to at least stop running. So I did up to 8 yoga classes a week, sometimes more, not giving myself any sort of break. My hamstring was not getting better.

A few weeks into my 8 or more Yoga classes a week (while injured), I noticed my right arm starting to have shooting pain going up and down my tricep and into my shoulder. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal so I continued with my routine. A few days later, I noticed it getting worse. I winced in pain during every downward dog, plank and especially chaturanga. I may have been okay if I had modified. I could have done the pose knees-chest-chin instead of chaturanga. That’s the beauty of yoga, there’s always a modification. But no! I’m too stubborn to actually do that. I was just hurting myself more.

The same week my arm started to get worse I was working on a forearm stand in a sweaty class. Now, forearm stand was not a good idea to even attempt with my injured arm/shoulder. But I did it anyway. It hurt, and I fell over in pain. Not a normal fall, but a hard twisted fall. After that, my back was out of whack. So now, my hamstring hurt when I walked and stretched it in any way, I couldn’t put any weight on my right arm, and I could barely move my upper body because my back hurt so bad. For whatever reason, even after I hurt my back I was still telling myself I had to get my workouts in. That was so dumb.

I talked to multiple people about my injuries including teachers, fellow yogis and even a physical therapist. Of course their advice was to give it a rest and take the time off my body needed. But my brain was still telling me to work out! I finally started doing the necessary modifications in yoga. All my instructors at Powerflow were extremely helpful with whichever injury I was dealing with that day. But one day, I woke up on a Saturday morning, and I could barely move my body. I couldn’t roll over because my arm hurt. I couldn’t get up and walk because my hamstring hurt, and I couldn’t sit up because my back hurt. I spent the day in bed with my heating pad asking myself “What the hell did I do to my body?” If I would have just taken the time off when the first injury happened, I most likely would not have over done it at yoga and hurt my arm. If I didn’t hurt my arm, I wouldn’t of fallen over and hurt my back.

I finally came to terms with the fact that I needed to let my body rest. Finally. I went and had my injuries looked at and needless to say all recommendations were to take time off. Duh! During my time off, I was still able to do modified workouts. I did some modified yoga and some at home cardio moves that didn’t use any of my injured parts. That kept me sane!

I’m finally starting to get back to normal. I realize now that I could have permanently hurt myself. I could have hurt myself so badly I wouldn’t have even been able to ever do yoga again! (Worst thought ever!) I learned an incredibly important lesson over the last few months. It is to listen to my body. I’m embarrassed at what it actually took to make me realize, but I’m so happy I’ve woken up. I now make a conscious effort to not overdo my workouts. I write down what workouts I want to do at the beginning of the week and schedule days off ahead of time. If I’m feeling any pain on a certain day, I take the day to rest. Resting your body is just as important as working out and eating healthy. Thank God I know that now. If I ever got to the point where I couldn’t do yoga anymore, I would be miserable! Because what is life without Yoga?!

So I know some of you are in the middle of 20 and 30. You should keep going, but you should take my advice to back off when you need to. Modify poses. Take a whole class in child’s pose if you need to. I also highly recommend the restorative and yin classes. Even the basics classes can give you a little break when you need it. Remember to always pace yourself. Sometimes you need to take it easy. Use China Gel and take an Epsom salt bath. Part of yoga is loving yourself. Love yourself by taking good care of your body!

–Colleen Shea

– See more at: http://www.powerflownj.com/blog/getting-sore-yoga-heres-what-do#sthash.mijUx4s7.dpuf

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