A challenging week spent navigating my asana practise around a lot of pain in my upper back. I have to be careful because it’s threatening to spasm and if that happens that’s it – I could be out of action for days. Doing primary series day in day out is intense on the upper body due to all the jump throughs’ and upward dogs. I spend the week trying to work out what it is that I’m doing that’s causing the pain, so that I can make a change but there is simply nothing specific that I can put my finger on.
After days rolling around on my acuball, applying mirakul and china gel to my upper back I bite the bullet –I’ve got to go a little deeper and do some real work! If I want to get rid of this pain it’s unavoidable. My experience of this practise is that when something is going on in my body there is usually a strong link to my inner life. I am a great believer in the concept that most physical pain is stress related (check out John E Sarno MD and SIRPAUK.COM). My first stop is Caroline Myss (Anatomy of the Spirit) and her online interactive chakra tool, which I highly recommend -http://www.myss.com/chakra/chakrasflash.asp
The chakras linked to my upper back are the heart (this is ongoing!!) and throat. As mentioned in earlier blog I have suffered 3 bereavements the past 8 months so that’s a given. In terms of my throat chakra – what am I not expressing…..? I don’t like disappointing people and there are times when I don’t speak up because I imagine I may upset someone, so instead I go along with something that may not be congruent with my needs. This makes me an easy target for every Harry Krishna in London! I have observed myself doing this behaviour lately, not only is it a very uncomfortable insight but it causes me a lot of inner conflict and thus pain. Certainly a justifiable candidate for blocked throat chakra!
The website is very useful as there are questions that one can work through in order to process and hopefully shift whatever limiting thought patterns/ behaviours might be causing blockages in the said energy points. My natural instinct is to avoid answering these types of questions because there are so many more pressing, active things that I can do that can help me avoid taking a real look at myself – my asana practise, laundry, cooking, helping my boys with their homework…etc. But here in Mysore there is only me, and if I don’t sort this out there won’t be any asana practise! I don’t want to wait until I’m flat on my back unable to move before I decide to put the necessary work in - time to bring out the old journal. I spend about an hour journaling, and it’s very good – I feel like I’m working through some layers. I feel very tired afterwards. Not physically tired but energetically tired. You know the kind of tiredness where you feel like you need to shut down? I liken it to when a computer goes to “sleep”. This is a state where I often do a lot of processing and shifting.
I take to my bed and as soon as I lie down I feel compelled to breathe deeply into my upper back area. It feels like I need to breathe out whatever is stuck in this area. It’s quite an intense experience and takes on a form of it’s own. Time slows and I breathe this way for a good hour. The compulsion stops as unexpectedly as it started. I get up and start to move. I don’t want to check in to my back too soon, for fear of my expectation of change being unmet, however I definitely feel lighter and less stressed in this area. And then I question this….. Why am I so scared to trust the results of my own instinctive process and belief systems? I believe fully in the correlation between mind/body/emotions. I have just spent two hours using techniques that have been proven to work at releasing stress from the body – WHY should they not work on ME? And why would I choose to undermine the genuine work I’ve done with a negative expectation? Hmmmmmm…..??!!
Days later I am happy to report that I no longer have any upper back pain!
I took my first yoga class in 1997 and practically fell asleep. Yoga was not for me! Fast forward three years and I go to my first Ashtanga Yoga class. I am blown away. I LOVE it! The only problem is it's a 30 min drive away and I now have a 2 year old son, and no child care at home. Fortunately, my then teacher - the wonderful Alex Medin, lets me bring him along. I wake him up at 5.30am and sling him in the back of the car in his baby blanket. He sits in the corner of the shala looking at books and listening to story tapes, and I practise. We don't manage it every day nor even sometimes every week, but we go when we can. It is not until many years later after the birth of my second son, when both boys are much older and in full time school, that I finally find my daily practise. And many years after that, that I finally get to Mysore.
|Corrie Ananda Yoga||
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