Thank you VISION_QUEST2 for starting this thread. What a great list. I've been thinking about pain quite a lot lately and wondering what other people might think about it. For me, I think of it as merely a sensation, rather many kinds of sensations for many kinds of pain. There is the pain of things freeing up. It's often the kind of pain I have habitually run from. Now, I'm attempting to recognize that kind of pain and hold it and breathe into it. My tight shoulders, hips, hamstrings, and even my spine have little by little opened up over time. Then there is the pain that feels sharp and electric. That's the one that tells me to stop whatever it is I'm doing right now. I also get feelings of being overwhelmed but that is not a physical thing. For me, feeling overwhelmed often comes from fear. I'm learning to distinguish between challenge and overwhelm. With both of those feelings, I'm attempting to listen, stay with the feelings and not flee. It's all so interesting.
Edited by: PETALIA at: 5/28/2013 (16:36)
Fitness Minutes: (5,303) Posts: 70 5/28/13 3:38 P
My "early warning sign" that I am working "on the wrong side of my edge", as one of my favorite instructors puts it, is when I lose the ability to regulate my breath. As long as I can keep my ujiya breath steady (and don't have any of the signs you listed) then I'm pretty confident I'm OK. I've learned to go into child's pose when my breathing starts to get ragged. At first it was hard to "admit" that I couldn't keep up -- my defenses against that are humility and a steady drishtis.
Adrienne aka Butsy C'ville, VA
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us" Gandalf
What a great list. I also like the title of the post... really to yoga is about learning about and knowing your body well enough to know when to hold or fold. I recently was having some knee problems... this is why it is good to work with a competent teacher.... my lotus was so sloppy that I was straining my knee. When I finally got into a decent lotus position... discomfort gone.
... a list of physical warning signs that would be important to acknowledge:
Pain progression in both intensity and location. A back pain that is located centrally in your spine that starts to spread outward or downward is a warning sign to stop that activity.
Another warning sign is when the area of pain totally changes location from back (spine) to arm or leg.
Pain intensity. Pain is usually quantified on a 0-10 point scale where 0= no pain and 10 is excruciating intense pain. Any pain that moves from negligible, like a 3, to a 6-7, is not something you want to encourage.
Loss of sensation in a limb, an increase of numbness, a tingling, or burning that doesn’t stop once the position is changed.
Increase in a sense of “unease.” You don’t know why this activity is making your nervous, unsettled or agitated, but it would be wise to stop the activity and ask your teacher afterwards.
Any sensation of dizziness, nausea, double vision. These are not symptoms that are a healthy benefit from asana.
Any signs or symptoms of heart racing or feeling that your heart beat feels irregular.
Physical exhaustion. Instead of feeling better as the class progresses, you start to feel more and more exhausted.
If any of these events occur during a class it would be wise to stop and sit leaning against a wall. Sometimes closing your eyes or going to get a drink of water will be helpful. Other times just stopping and lying down in Savasana will work. Finally, there may be times actually leaving the class is necessary. If this occurs, quietly get up and leave the room. Your teacher may or may not come to talk with you. If he or she does approach you, briefly let the teacher know what is going on with you. If you are concerned about discussing medical issues in front of the class, only discuss what you feel comfortable with. Then, especially if this is a regular class that you attend, consider contacting the teacher afterward to give him or her the complete information. Having complete information about your condition will help your teacher do a better job of making your next experience in class a good one.
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