This morning, I started my day on my yoga mat. I felt a little off when I started, but I soon settled into my practice. Half way through practice we arrived at some great hip openers. If you’ve practiced yoga before, I’m sure you know the magic of hip openers. Every emotion, every feeling, every insecurity, every ounce of stress is held in the hips. The more they open, the more all of these emotions surface. As I sat in pigeon pose, I felt the tears start to surface. I felt anxiety in my chest. What was making me so anxious? Why did I feel like crying?
We hold stress and negative emotions—such as fear, guilt, and sadness—in our pelvis, says San Francisco vinyasa teacher Stephanie Snyder. For this reason alone, Snyder believes it’s particularly important to do poses that move prana (life force) through that area. “You know your junk drawer at home?” she asks. “The pelvis is like the body’s junk drawer. Whenever you don’t know what to do with a feeling or experience, you put it there.” ~ Diane Anderson, Yoga Journal
I’ve been a little quiet on my blog about running the past week. There is a reason for it. I’ve got some junk in my drawer that I was trying to avoid. The oh-so-familiar, most unwanted pain has resurfaced in my leg. The dull ache is back in my left femur. Same spot. Same feeling. The level of discomfort isn’t what it was last year when I had my stress fracture, but it is the exact same pain. I was hoping it was a just a bad day and some random aching due to bad weather, but I’m now facing day 6 of pain.
I thought if I rested for a few days, if I didn’t acknowledge the discomfort, if I didn’t focus on what I was feeling, it would go away. I ran last Tuesday (2.5 speedy-for-me miles @ 9:48 pace). Wednesday night I woke up to feed Chet at midnight. As I stepped out of bed, the discomfort caught me off guard. It was there when I woke up to start the day. It continued to persist into Thursday. I finally said something to Christian. I texted two close friends about the pain. Outside of those three people, I wanted to pretend like it didn’t hurt. I made plans to run on Saturday. Fortunately I learned a thing or two last year. I let my leg rest instead of running. This is not the type of pain I want to run through. If it is still bothering me at the end of this week, I will call the doctor.
While trying to ignore the possibility that my injury could be resurfacing one year later, I’ve been burying a lot of feelings that I need to process. I’ve become stressed about so many possibilities: if it is back after running at most 6 miles since having Chet, what does that mean? Are the rods and screws in my legs finally causing complications? Is it weird that it’s the femur that I didn’t break?
My yoga practice today brought them all to the surface.You can’t hide from yourself or your feelings in yoga. You can’t pretend to be something you’re not. You can’t fake it. When you show up on your mat, it is just you. You owe it to yourself to feel your way through your practice. Today I was met with some unexpected emotions that were begging to be released.
And you know what…I feel a lot better (emotionally at least). It’s not healthy to hold on to all that stress. While I figure out exactly what my body wants right now, I’m going to avoid running and overindulge in yoga.
Fingers crossed for a few days with no pain.