7 Sep 2014

Psychosocial Themes in Yoga Injury

Thanks to a heads up from a kind comment left on the blog I came across a new blog.  Very interesting.  I shan't give my opinion in too much detail yet though as I still need to see more, mull it over.  I haven't seen much of his stuff yet, but shall be having a delve.

All I can say is I'm reassured that I find the content of the discussion, at times, shocking.  I practice and teach, and am relatively isolated.  I see a few teachers from time to time, go away and study, but generally keep myself to myself. I practice alone, and  like to research and check things out for myself, talk to other professionals.  Although, I  have heard, mainly from reading on line, what Matthew Remski talks of, it always seemed in some distant place.  Certainly not what I see in class around me.  I too hold a practice,  as the sutra says -2.16,  is one which helps to avoid future suffering (mentally and physically)  to be ideal, one which makes you stronger and calmer, more resilient.

I also find the way Remski deals with his data, classifying it and breaking it down very well done.  I graduated from University with a degree in Psychology and Health Psychology and this kind of discussion appeals to me.   A wonderful way to initiate intelligent inquiry, I hope  Keeping it anonymous is a good thing, we don't need accusations but rather education and change where it is needed.

Listening for pain in the body is a very delicate process.  The discomfort felt when working muscles is a good kind of pain.  The painful massage my physio gives my knee to soften the surrounding scar tissue is always rewarding with pain free walking, improved flexibility and generally feeling the better for it.

Also, the culture of praising those who are flexible is certainly one to watch for.  I see it a lot, some people are naturally more flexible. Rather let us praise concentration, ability to smile, to make efforts to change.

And yes, life can be tough on the body at times.  I have had injuries and ailments, but most of them have occurred being hit by cars while on my bicycle (twice!), riding down snowy mountains at high speed, being pregnant and miscarrying, losing muscle tone and revealing a hip deformity I was unaware of, contributing to knee problems, resulting in surgery. Oh, everyone has a story.  We all have lots going on in our lives.  I love to think that yoga is a tool for healing, as much through community and relationships built. Through it all I have kept a thread of yoga practice, with times of rest.  I am grateful to all the people around me.  We support each other. I felt that, throughout the years, it seems I have unconsciously spurred people on, encouraged and challenged, am well know for dragging people up mountains, and into rivers and on trips of discovery, and apparently helped shed some light. This time, when I was a bit down, these same people, and others, spurred me on, encouraged and supported me.   I am so very grateful to all these people and to my physiotherapist for helping me recover after surgery.  Still a work in progress, but it's happening.  Rebuilding my yoga practice little by little.

Most importantly though, is that one's practice will provide the energy and strength to enjoy life, and helps those around you to do the same.


  1. Hey !

    Cool ! I'm glad you also found this post interesting. :-)

    As you mentioned, there is a lot of misinformation out there... We have to learn to listen to our own body, learn to understand it better, learn about its own strengths and weaknesses, learn to become stronger.

    But the relation to pain is a difficult one, at least for me. It’s a complicated language. There is good pain that I get as bad and the bad pain that I interpret as good. But I’m getting better.

    And I’m trying to be more flexible (in the psychological sense!) The sequences and guidelines are tools not dogma. We should be able to question and interpret them. They should not lead to guilt or pressure.

    I’m happy you are still writing! :-)


  2. Hey there Eve,

    Thanks for writing, really lovely to hear from you, sorry for the untimely reply. Yes, I agree with the above, and since then, inspired by my physiotherapist, recovery from my injury and scared by what I've been reading online I started taking Simon Borg-Olivier's online Anatomy and Physiology course. Very very good. My practice is getting stronger and confidence that I am not doing any harm to myself or my students has increased. But am exhausted, it is quite intensive, on top of work too. So want to get back to blogging more, but right now practice and study are taking priority. Absorbing, applying and growing! Yay