I realize the title seems to imply that this could be a lengthy explanation of definitions, differences, and similarities, but it’s really just a little story. (You might be pleasantly surprised or a bit disappointed, or maybe some of each!)
I hurt my hip in July of 2019 doing a yoga pose that didn’t really need doing, though it was fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Until I didn’t. In July of 2020 my knee decided it had had enough. What it had enough of, however, I wasn’t really sure. All I had been doing was walking on cement sidewalks a few miles three times a day since April. (Remember April, May, and June of 2020?) I suppose that, combined with an active childhood that included a splash of gymnastics, 16 years of jumping back (and up) in Surya Namaskara A & B, and congenitally under-developed hip sockets and other misaligned joints and weaknesses, resulted in my knee swelling up and me thinking I had gout. Thankfully, I did not have to give up my favorite indulgences. It seems I’d rather have patellar tendonosis instead.
All this is to say that I’ve been enjoying a 10 day meditation challenge, and I took a “creative ashtanga” class this morning to see how it might feel, and my left hip was like, What are you doing? And my left knee was like, Have you been meditating for a long time? My right hip flexor said, What did you do yesterday? And my right shoulder? It was like, Are you kidding me…? After all we’ve been through…? Keep in mind, I made all the postures and vinyasas fit my current body and its needs and wants, and still my body was like, Huh? This doesn’t feel right.
So. There’s vinyasa and there’s vinyasa. I still find my flow even when I’m not jumping, doing push-ups, and raising and lowering my arms a million times. I still connect my postures like strings of pearls. I still love flowing and powering in my yoga practice. It just looks different on the outside.
So. I have hip dysplasia, and I never would’ve found that out if it hadn’t been for sugarcane pose. However, I’d rather not know I have hip dysplasia. Moving forward, if a pose isn’t really necessary, and it’s bordering on extreme, I’m not going to do it. (I’m sort of laughing as I type this because I couldn’t do any sort-of-extreme posture anymore. My body’s not havin’ it!) It kind of reminds me of the time my 2-year-old hit me smack in the third eye with a wooden block. I had enough sense to think, Well? That’s something. I suppose I’ll never be hit in the head exactly the same way ever again. And going forward, I steered clear.
So. What’s changing for you?
- What have you been forcing yourself to do that you really don’t want to do anymore (or ever really did), and you have a choice around it? What have you been putting yourself in the way of when you could shift to the side?
- What would it feel like to practice the way you want to practice, not the way you think you should practice?
- How do you think it would be to practice asana simply by feel. Instead of visualizing images of yoga postures (from books, apps, sites, or even in the mirror), close your eyes and feel your way into only the asana your body manifests comfortably. Yep, I said it – comfortably!! Asana = comfortable seat. 😉
The Universal Yogi