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by Donna Brooks

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Hurting yourself doing yoga?? What??!!

Have you hurt yourself doing yoga?
 Yoga???!! What??? It’s supposed to be totally safe!! And, for many of us, myself included, Yoga actually has been a primary way of getting into and knowing my body.
After all, it’s a kind of slow challenge- nothing happens so fast that I am out of control. And the stretching can feel so good. Spreading all those muscles fibers must be right because I get this great relax / energizing feeling. But it is often at this point that a warning light starts to come on. 
If you are pushing yourself too hard, over stretching or driving yourself to an ideal of a posture you may be tearing muscles, over-stretching ligaments or creating too much flexibility and damaging joints. In fact, imposing anything on your body repetitively will cause problems.
So, what should you do? The best protection, the best way to be as safe as we can be is to know  our bodies and what they truly need.
How to we get that tuned in to our bodies? Understanding our movements from the inside out is a basis of somatic movement. Inside out movement gives back what most of us in western culture have long lost – instinctive and natural movement that protects us from misuse and strain. When you get back this natural movement you find an ease that is with you even when you are working hard. In Yoga practice, this means that there is a quality of open attention, calm and sense of deep support while doing a posture.
For instance, try this easy experiment.
Raise your arms as you would in warrior pose. Notice what happens to your breath, notice what adjectives you would use to describe sensations in your shoulders and arems.
Now imagine you have balloons tied to your wrists and elbows. Raise your arms as if the balloons were guiding them. Forget about “correct placement” and notice sensations and your breath.
The ease you get from the balloons must underlie (Oh yeah – I live that word- it’s about the most essential basics) your movement or you will bump into strain and overuse.
I am offering a three hour clinic on July … which will give you tools for a healthy and sustainable Yoga practice. And, if you are already feeling injured from yoga, you will leave with tools to begin to repair your injury.
So join me!