Learning to Cope With Injuries Through Yoga
If you follow the blog you may be aware that I’m currently nursing several sports related injuries. Yet the one that is causing me the most problems is a pain on the inside of my knee that I tweaked while skiing in Vermont. Unfortunately I injured it to the point that I have had to significantly cut back my weekly milage.
I tend to get restless if I don’t get my runs in so on some days it has become unbearable. I have turned to doing some basic exercises at home in order to keep moving but it just hasn’t been enough. I have also started attending yoga sessions every Wednesday evening and this has become an awesome alternative while I wait for my knee to heal.
I went in to my first yoga class with an open mind and the desire to help my body become more flexible. Whenever I run I feel that I am not stretching properly so my body always feels tense and tight. Therefore I felt that if anything, yoga would help with my flexibility.
Strangely enough, the very first class was just what the doctor ordered! We focused on stretching out all areas of the lower extremities. I came to realize that there were a lot of places that I just was not focusing enough on. The following classes built on the the poses and stretches that I learned and focused a tad more on the upper body. But all the while my legs were definitely getting a full workout.
I had never realized just how challenging yoga can be until I tried it. The poses and stretches involve a level of technicality that is beyond what I thought. The poses that I have done in this first month have pushed me to the limit where I feel the burn. Yet the payoff has had me feeling very good!
I realize now that stretching in an appropriate manner could have prevented my knee injury. (Too late now) But as I nurse this injury I am really glad that I have yoga as an alternative to running. Not only am I learning how to stretch properly, but I am really getting a full body workout.
Another positive to yoga has been its effect on my sleeping habits. I have a long history of sleep deprivation caused by an active mind and overthinking! During some of the quiet cool downs after yoga I have found myself drifting off into a place where thoughts get lost and forgotten. Instead I have put my focus on breathing properly and just relaxing.
I really don’t know how to explain it in a clear way at the moment, but it’s a great feeling to not be thinking about anything in particular! I think that a combination of a great workout and focusing on my breathing has allowed me to get proper rest for the first time in a very long time.
So thanks, Ashley for pushing me to give yoga a try. A proper workout with the added element of healthy sleep has really been a blessing thus far.
How do you cope with sports related injuries? Leave us a comment below!