Overcoming Obstacles

Cushion Montage

During my first three months of practising Mysore style Ashtanga, I’ve had many obstacles to overcome.  But two in particular seem to be rather prominent right now. 

The one is (as gstar would say…) overcoming the issue of pain in the heels.  During Shari’s last led class (sniff, sniff) she told us not to shuffle back onto the mat after each vinyasa in the seated postures.  I always do this and I know I’m not really supposed to, but it really hurts the backs of my heels if they’re on the hard floor rather than the mat. Ow! So what am I supposed to do?  I’m currently using a little towel underneath my heel as a cushion, but this doesn’t seem ideal.  Should I just grin and bear it and wait for some lovely calluses to form?  Should I invent the Yogic Heel Pad?  Does anyone else have this problem? Is anyone even listening?!

The second issue is slightly more serious and is to do with the fact that I often very nearly faint when Sarah calls sama stidhi to recite the opening chant.  If I’m already standing I’m usually ok, but if I’ve been seated I feel lightheaded and nauseous when I stand up and the room often starts spinning.  I try to stand up very slowly but it doesn’t seem to help.  I think it has something to do with the change in energy required from breathing to chanting. It’s very disconcerting and makes me feel nervous in my practice beforehand and weak afterwards.  Has anyone else ever suffered from this?

4 Responses to Overcoming Obstacles

  1. Laura 28th August 2009 at 5:36 pm #

    hi hannah
    Yes! I used to get this quite alot, and for me it was definitely the change in breathing pattern from my regular yogic breath to an irregular pattern, sometimes I would have to crouch down to the floor. To be honest it just stopped, really can#t say why (maybe coz i get into class late now so havn#t done so much practice before…). Also I#m more prone to low blood pressure and this can make you faint. When I felt like this I usually wouldn#t chant and just keep my regular breathing going and just listen. Also, less food than normal the night before doesn#t help, so stocking up the energy reserves goes a long way. if it is any consolation it did just stop at some point….

  2. happyyogi 28th August 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    ok so i guess i’ll start responding again. is it sad that i had to leave in order to do this?

    1. the heels-flex your feet so the heels are off the floor.
    2. be really conscious when you stand up to use your bandhas to come to standing. then tilt your chin down towards your chest and close you eyes. maybe it’ll stop. who knows! if not…just do what guy says and breathe and just listen until it goes away. just because you don’t start the prayer doesn’t mean you can’t join in when you feel better 🙂
    3. don’t worry about any of it…you’re doing great. all is coming!!

    ps. 2 people responding from berlin. cool!!! miss you guys! xo

  3. gstar
    gstar 28th August 2009 at 6:41 pm #

    Hey Hannah,

    I don’t get the fainting thing, although I do find it difficult to catch my breath while chanting and sometimes I can’t chant coz I just end up panting a lot.

    Regarding the hurty heels – It did used to hurt but now I have two nicely matched callouses at the back of my heels. As you may have spotted 😉

  4. hannahbanana
    hannahbanana 2nd September 2009 at 9:02 am #

    Thanks for your comments guys, it’s helpful to know you experienced this too, Laura. I’ll try and take both your advice on board and see how it goes. Good to hear from you Shari, hope you’re all having fun in Berlin. Manju’s workshops were pretty intense and he’s been giving some strong adjustments at self-practice. Only one more to go then it’s 3 rest days – thank shiva! xxx

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