Modify to Move
My body hurts. Always. Somewhere. From something. A tweak here. A twist there. A push, a pull. Or maybe, the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong way. My first thought is just that I’m old-er. Oldish? And that there is the inevitable wear and tear on my body that is coming to the forefront of my consciousness more often. Because, well, pain. I feel it. My second thought, though, turns to what my body is telling me and as I tune in and get curious, I learn stuff.
My 300-Hour Yoga Training program is giving me a new vocabulary and descriptors of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and the movement of same to help me clarify how I feel physically and how describe what I feel which is handy when it comes to taking action. So, I add inspection and curiosity to review my pain and the underlying source. And then, I begin to move-slowly-to test, to adapt, and move again.
What is very clear to me is that for all of us, there may be times when we feel sub-par or less than optimal physically, emotionally, mentally, energetically. And yet we can still continue to move forward and partake in our physical practice. It just may not be in the way that we may intend on a day.
For instance, the other day I was doing one of my workout DVD’s (from the way-back days) with lots of lunging, squatting, lifting, pushing and pulling. But it was a morning where everything hurt. So, I modified with –
- Lighter weights
- Fewer reps
- Positional modifications such as knee push-ups rather than push-ups on my toes
- Toe raises rather than jumps
- Assisted pull-ups or negatives
- Slow steps rather than plyo-metric jumps or lunges
- Props - a chair, a wall, a bench, a cat...
The point is, it mattered not that I couldn't keep up with the participants on-screen and do the same number of reps, or use the same weights or follow the sequence to perfection. The point is that I showed up, and I moved. I modified nearly everything. I took more breaks.
I know that there will be days where I will do more on my mat, and others where I won't. And I'm finally okay with that.
Breathe well, and be well my friends.