I’ve decided my left shoulder is largely to blame for a lot of my yoga woes. I have sympathy for my poor shoulder and am sure in time, it will improve and maybe even regain its former glory. It is frustrating though. What happened? Well, more than 15 years ago I reverse commuted and was running late. So I was racing down a flight of stairs to catch a train. My should bag somehow got caught on the handrail and while I ran forward, my body jerked back and my poor shoulder (rotator cuff specifically) got caught and I basically did a semi flip. It wasn’t pretty. Physical therapy followed but adding to the fact I wear a very heavy (giant) handbag everyday on my left shoulder, with computer, yoga mat, snacks, etc. the poor thing has taken and continues to take abuse.
And it’s showing. I noticed in class today that in addition to a tight left hip (an old running injury), my shoulder makes a lot of poses hard. For example, impossible for me to place my hands under my ankles in the very early poses. I can’t really do this on my right side either, so it may not be the best example. Standing head to knee. It took me a YEAR to grab my leg and even now, I can’t grip both hands together b/c they left one is barely able to reach.
Wind Removing Pose is another doozy, as my left side can’t really grab far and goes no where close to my right elbow. Not too mention, both shoulders are never on the floor when grabbing my leg, my left side is usually well off the floor and in the air. Seated head to knee pose is similar, my left side just doesn’t reach far and I see it most obviously in the last pose, spine twist when my left hand comes NO WHERE close to my knee to grab it.
I do some extra hip and shoulder warm ups before class and I figure, I’m still getting the benefits (mostly) of the postures if I can keep decent form. Patience I guess is the point of this story fellow yogis. You can’t wish injuries away. You can’t rush them. You can’t cheat them. You can only continue as best you can and hope they improve.