Browsing through Facebook this morning, I ran across this image and had one of those momentary giggle fits. This struck me as funny because a few minutes before I signed on, that was me. I am the Tin Man today.
I have been teaching and practicing many different yoga styles for as long as I can remember, but to be honest, it took me a long time to find a yoga that didn’t hurt me. My body, for whatever reason, is excessively sensitive to pain or rather, has pain often. Therefore, power yogas and other types of athletics are out of the question for me. There are quite a few different yoga styles that one could attempt and then grow your practice from the one best suited for you.
After years of searching, I have found a few things that have worked well for someone who hurts. First and foremost, what I call Breathe Yoga. This is simply the act of sitting on the floor or in a chair and focusing the breath and the mind. Believe it or not, this is difficult. To master perfect posture, perfect breath, and nothingness of the mind all at once is extremely spiritual and beneficial.
If one should need to stretch the body but still are not interested in a power style yoga such as Ashtanga, my next suggestion is Yin Yoga. The Ashtanga or Power Yoga would be the Yang version of this yoga style. Yin Yoga is a series of postures that you fall into and proceed to hold for many minutes.
For example, let us sit on the floor and place the bottoms of our feet together and allow your knees to fall to the floor, Baddha Konasana, the bound angle posture. Once you are in the posture, you will then adjust yourself so that you can comfortably challenge the stretch while relaxing the mind and focusing the breathe. This can be accomplished the use of blocks or props to hold ones body in place. You will breathe yoga and life into this posture for at least five minutes. With each exhale allow your body to fall a little bit deeper into the posture.
This yoga style works for me because it is extremely beneficial, but does not have the athleticism that steers me away from daily practice. Yoga can find different yoga online, through videos on youtube.com or through private online instruction.
Another yoga style that is good for someone in pain is called Yoga Chi. It is essentially a fluid mix of yoga postures while forcing your chi to move with you. This is so healing and allows for the body to gracefully and gradually loosen and open.
It is important to attempt many different yoga styles in order to find the one that works the best for your body at that current time. In the summer when it is always warm, my body is already warm and loose, so doing an Ashtanga Yoga practice actually feels good because it challenges my already loose muscles. But, in the frigid cold of Upstate New York, sometimes the winter freezes my body from the inside out and I need gradual yoga, like the Yin Yoga.
I hope this image lightened your day and brought laughter to your heart and I hope that you are able to find a particular style of yoga that works for you.