Inertia and Injury

Ok, universe.  I get it.  Every time I build some steam, you spring a leak.  Any time I get the fire going well and hot, you bring the rain.

It's as though I've been sucked into a state of inertia, a standstill, despite every natural impulse. The tapas are white hot and the truth is burning fiercely, but every time I make a move, a big wet blanket falls to take me down.  I lost my love.  I lost my job.  I lost my independence.  And just as I bent down to gather up the scattered fragments of my life, a heavy cosmic boot landed squarely on my ass to push me face down in the mud.

I pulled a muscle in practice yesterday.  Badly.  The first side of Eka Pada was so good that I came to the second side, my tighter side, with too much confidence and as I pressed my head back against my shin I felt an ominous inner shift.  Normally, with this type of injury, I'll continue on with the practice, but this time it was different.  I couldn't do much at all without pain, so I skipped ahead to finishing, omitting all drop backs, Sirsasana, and the vinyasas. This morning, I can barely turn my head from side to side, much less nod it up and down.  I've had problems with this muscle group before, but it's never been this bad.  I don't know how I'll practice until this pain goes away.

Yesterday, I drove 30 miles to the nearest health food store (which, in itself, was quite depressing...) to pick up some arnica cream and neti salts.  I had high hopes for the arnica, but it's effect has been minimal. I fully intend to unroll the mat today, but practice is likely to be skeletal for at least a day or two which leaves me with even less to do out here by myself while the family is away.  Clearly, this time is meant for rest and reflection.  The way of things has left me little choice.


  1. Hope you heal soon... time for some pranayama and meditation practice?

  2. Sorry to hear! hope the pain eases soon!

  3. Wow! Talk about bizarre! I've been rehab-ing a neck injury from a bad chakrasana! I could barely hold my head up without pain or move it side to side (the left side was the injured side). I spent most of the first and second day of the injury icing it and trying to rest it as much as possible. 3 days later I was able to start doing some gentle yoga. I went back to a more regular (but still very gentle) practice about a week after I hurt it (I've been blogging a little bit about it if you want to read). The icing and arnica was a great combination. I also had a great body worker from my studio work on it.

    I still have some tenderness on the left side but it's doing so much better. I hope your injury heals just as well.

  4. Thanks for the well wishes, all. Fortunately, I think I may have overestimated the severity of the injury... and perhaps been a bit melodramatic in general... hehe. Forgive me. Yes, it's stiff and uncomfortable, but I was able to do my practice carefully with just a few modifications. The practice itself seemed to help a lot.

    Tara - That is funny. Even weirder is that I read your post about your neck injury just before I did my own practice on Monday when I managed to injure myself. It's infectious! Glad you're feeling better.

    Also, what type of arnica do you use? Gel? Cream? Is there a brand that you recommend. The stuff I got doesn't seem to be helping much.

  5. Ha! Talk about ironic! Glad your neck isn't as bad as you thought it was. That's what my body worker said too when I saw her and it had calmed down a lot from the first day, that neck injuries are scary and we almost always feel like they're worse than they are :)

    I use Arniflora gel (I can't read the entire part of the manufacturer's name but it is abbreviated "B&T"). This brand seems to work well and I like the gel because it seems to last longer (i.e. you don't have to use as much). I actually couldn't tell how much it was helping until I lent it to a friend and didn't use it for a week. I use it regularly on my back and knee before practice and I couldn't definitely feel the difference in the practice without it, both areas were much more stiff and resistant to movement, lol.

  6. Sorry to hear your injured (saw this post on my phone a couple of days ago but it wouldn't accept my comment).
    Yay, glad it wasn't so bad.
    Was best to be on the safe side though and back off a little....just in case.