Going to a yoga class with an injury or issue that may affect your practice might not seem like a big deal and it’s not provided you actually tell your teacher! So many people go to class and they know of a shoulder injury but think ‘I know what to avoid so its ok’ and that may be true but your teacher still needs to know. Instead of you going through your practice trying to avoid pain imagine your teacher giving you adjustments that make your practice easier or even change their class plan to include poses that actually help your injury! Wow that would be ace right? All you have to do is tell them.
It’s not just injuries, being pregnant or postnatal or breastfeeding are also useful things to know maybe there’s a common condition that needs to be avoided for certain poses Glaucoma for instance is a contraindication for a shoulder stand but I’ll tell you what you won’t find me announcing that to a class because I just know I will say Gonorrhoea instead! Massive red face moment.
Your teacher can help with injuries, don’t forget it!
So instead of thinking about what you do know (your injury, your pain) think about what you don’t know and your teacher might! You are at an Ashtanga class but that teacher might also be trained in restorative yoga, or yoga for sport, have fab anatomy knowledge or be trained in yoga therapy you just don’t know how many ways they might be able to help you, so ask!
Recently I had a woman come to my power yoga class she really struggled with sun salutations I asked at the beginning of class ‘any injuries or issues I might need to know about?’ no answer. So I thought maybe this woman had never tried yoga before and was finding it difficult, no problem I changed my class plan instantly making it much easier than I planned. At the end of class I offered to go over the sun salutation with her and show her an easier variation for next time. She said no its ok I’m 3 months postnatal so am just taking it slow and listening to my body. Sigh…. its great she didn’t push herself and did what felt right for her BUT she didn’t know I am an experienced pregnancy and postnatal teacher I could have given her so much more to do and there were things in the class she really shouldn’t have been doing.
So please don’t keep these secrets from your teacher, they may be able to help more than you think, a quiet word before class is all it takes to give the teacher the possibility to transform your experience of that class.