No Surf, No Downward Facing Dog, No Problem!

 Rocking my land legs at Camden Hills State Park.

Rocking my land legs at Camden Hills State Park.

After 6 months of significant pain in my right shoulder I decided to reach out for help as an act of self-care. I was advices by my dear friend Lily Dougher (owner of Breathing Room Yoga Studio, South Portland) to visit with an acupuncturist within the community (Gabe Schiff-Verre of Oceanpoint Acupuncture, South Portland). I went on Tuesday for a 90min session that included acupuncture (an ancient form of Chinese complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles) along with electric stimulation (elicitation of muscle contraction using electric impulses) and cupping message (an ancient form of therapy in which a local suction is created on the skin to mobilize blood flow in order to promote healing.) After the session was complete I felt extremely relaxed and comforted by the fact that I was being proactive in my healing. I shared with Gabe that I was planning on going to a yoga class and then out for a sunset surf after our session. He looked at me as if I had 4 head, and replied “and you are trying to heal your shoulder?”. I laughed and asked what he advised. He suggested no surfing and no downward facing dog for a while. First hearing this news really bummed me out but then I acknowledged how violent I was being to myself.  I was pushing through pain for the sake of pleasure in the moment (an old habit of mine) and going against the deepest teaching of yoga, non-violence. When thinking about it from this perspective it was clear to me that in order to heal I must rest the region of my body that is sending me a clear message of suffering. I must honor the pain if I wish to sustain health. I will hold myself accountable and remain out of downdog and off my longboard for the next week or so. I see  this as an opportunity to deepen my practice  and to get back on my land legs, exploring via bike and hike, while crossing my fingers that there are no waves for a week or two ;)