I may be premature here, but I think that my long standing shoulder pain might finally be resolving. It could be better alignment, or it could be that I’ve just been listening more, resting the shoulder as needed. Today I felt an unfamiliar soreness in the muscles, part of the deltoid I believe as it wraps around the front of the shoulder and attaches to the clavicles, accompanied by a complete lack of pain in the shoulder joint itself.
Or who knows, perhaps it is time itself. I almost hate to jinx it, perhaps I am premature in thinking that the shoulder that has been an issue for a year or two is healed at last.
While I’m on the subject of healing injuries, my backbends have not been what they once were. It’s always been my thing, you know? Do you have that thing that you’re good at? I can’t bind in supta kurmasana but my backbends have always been decent, even, if I’m honest, a source of pride that may or may not be deserved. Finally they are starting to come back. I pulled something in my low back in the early winter and for months I’ve felt reluctance in the dropping back, avoidance where before I had only joy. Kino helped me grab my ankles when she visited Boston in October, but it’s been a long time since I came close to touching my heels.
Even the other day I felt that curious reluctance, but I did it anyway. My attitude is one of obedience, in a weird way. It’s like this. Okay, I’m supposed to do dropbacks now. I don’t want to. But there are 5 dropbacks here and they’re not going anywhere so I might as well get to work. So I do them, reluctantly, gracelessly, but I get the job done. Remembering all the while how it feels on a really good day, the joy and the freedom of dropping back on the exhale, inhaling smoothly to come back up on the inhale without a lot of fuss. Where oh where did that go? But it came back, in part, the other day.
I know, and I’m sorry, for those of you who are annoyed because dropbacks have always been hard. But remember this, I can barely bind Mari D on a good day. Pasasana feels about a million miles away, I carry too much extra weight and these things are hard hard hard. But backbends, as I said, have always been my thing.
The reluctance and the gracelessness sometimes come into my practice. I think this is somewhat new. Perhaps it’s all part of the path. Usually in sun salutations there is a sensation of a graceful lifting of the arms overhead, delicately arcing down to fold forward. But one day recently I didn’t feel like practicing, so I lifted the hands up and allowed them to slap carelessly together, folded forward in a flop. It’s childish, silly really. I’m only arguing with myself, after all, in my living room. Who is making you do this anyway? Only yourself. It’s a choice. Even still, that day, by the time I was through 5 A and maybe 3 B, I’m not sure, I settled into a practice that while not inspired, was still a practice, moving with the breath, the childish reluctance moved through and set aside.