Muscles & Joints: Pain, Stiffness
Whether its from an injury or just from "getting older" many people have habitual pain and stiffness in parts of their bodies. Yoga is great medicine for getting things free and comfortable again. I like to start with a solid postural assessment so that we both can see and understand postural patterns that may be contributing to pain or stiffness. My postural assessment includes basic movements. The body moves in patterns and with injury, habit, misuse compensatory patterns that lead to pain and loss of function can set in, often under our awareness. Bringing awareness to any imbalances or compensatory patterns gives us a good starting point to get you moving without pain soon.
I came to yoga to heal athletic injuries. Over the nearly 30 years that I have been practicing and teaching yoga I have also had other injuries to my body which I have also healed with yoga. Releasing muscle tension, rebalancing muscle pairs, adjusting posture and gait are all aspects of a yoga practice that reliably support this kind of healing. However, it is yoga's ability to work with the nervous system and the radically gentle way that I do this that offers the deepest healing, sense of ease and wholeness that is most transformative.
Ultimately, if your nervous system doesn't "believe" whatever change you are making, your body will return to the compensatory, protective patterns it developed to stay safe. The first precept of yoga is a Sanskrit term "ahimsa" which is translated into English as "nonviolence." I think of this first rule as radical gentleness and it is this radical gentleness which is required to communicate with our nervous systems. You cannot force you nervous system to change or heal. You must create the right conditions and coax it. You allow it to heal.