Monday, 9 January 2012

“Ouch! It really hurts when I do that...”

How many times have we all said or heard that?

I think most of us get physical injuries at some point, sometimes on the mat, sometimes off it. However ‘good’ you are at yoga asana, however strong/flexible/experienced you are, there’s gonna be a time (or several times!) when something goes twang in your practice or in your life and it hurts.
Fortunately, help is at hand!

John Friend, the founder of Anusara yoga, explains that each person has what he calls an ‘optimal blueprint’ for their body, a perfect (for them) alignment.

Each person’s optimal blueprint is as unique as they are.

There are two big upshots of this. Firstly, if we can learn to bring our body into alignment with its optimal blueprint (for example through the practice of yoga asana) then we are waaaayyyyy less likely to injure ourselves in the first place, and secondly, if we do injure ourselves, we can help our body to heal by putting ourselves back into alignment with our optimal blueprint, and this is the core of yoga therapy from an Anusara perspective. If you talk to an Anusara yoga teacher about an injury, they will use the Universal Principles of Alignment to help you move towards your optimal blueprint, and the closer you get the less it will hurt and the faster you’ll heal.

Easy, right?

Sadly, it’s not so easy, of course. You think you work hard on the mat now? Wait till you’ve tried therapeutic yoga! It’ll make you sweat for sure – you don’t overcome a lifetime of misalignment without a LOT of effort. Before you even start therapy you really need to commit 100% to doing it. It’s first principle stuff – Open to Grace. Are you really open to the possibility of getting better? Are you really ready to work hard every practice, or every day, to get rid of your pain? Or is it serving you in some way? Is it an excuse to avoid something? Is it something you can hide behind? What is your injury trying to teach you? Was it a misalignment that injured you or was it your ego?

When he’s not busy being a yoga therapy geek and Anusara addict, Chris is a yoga teacher, massage therapist and reiki master in and around central London and one of my best yoga buddies!

For more information, or to contact Chris, check out or Like “Yoga with Chris Carmona” on Facebook.

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