Becoming modest


Utthita parsva konasana: The next asana that I could either give up or alter was utthita parsva konasana. The picture shows the version that I practice by now. This asana a side stretch. To hold the asana the legs have to develop strength. Also when it looks as if it’s an easy asana, I don’t relax in that pose. All asanas are active ones. There are muscles that are engaged, ohters relax.

There are a lot of variations of this asana.

  • In Bikram yoga only the finger tips touch the floor. This makes sure that the legs do the work.

  • Sometimes the hand is put next to the foot inside, sometimes ouside.

I couldn’t predict which asana would be painful, which not. Sometimes I thought that back bending asana were possible and forward bending asanas would hurt. The other day it was the opposite. This description was a clue that my pain was chronic and that there was probably no injury anymore that could cause the pain. The pain system malfunctioned. That is the pain is real. The cause is gone, the pain remained. I had to tell my perfect body again and again that all is OK. That’s why I had to avoid any pain to convince my nerve system. I had to become modest.

The words of an orthopedist were always in my mind: Don’t give it up.

He added that most people who have back pain are couch potatoes. He didn’t use this word, but it’s clear it’s more likely to develop back pain if one doesn’t move. Weak muscles are often a cause for imbalance in the body and therefore pain.

I remember a conversation in a cafe with two yoginis. We laughed. One yogini said that it’s not guaranteed that the we get better at the asana also when we practice daily. Sometimes we might lose the ability to perform asanas. This entertained us. Theoretically we knew that this is true, yet we all believed in our own progress.

That this valley in which I am or was would last so long wasn’t predictable. In the meantime I see it as a wake-up call. In the beginning it’s surely necessary to go to a yoga class. One must learn the basics. Feed-back from a teacher is necessary. Nevertheless as soon as possible a home practice should be developed, too.

It’s still in the morning here. I’m ready for my yoga practice. Yet today I expect two craftsmen. I have to postpone my practice. It’s so difficult here to get any craftsmen that when they offer an appointment one has to accept it.I can’t wait to step on the mat.