I find it odd that in our culture if, for example, a football player breaks a body part during a game, and continues to play, we laud that as ‘admirable’. They pushed through the pain, and possible permanent bodily damage, all in the name of the sport. Afterwards did they abandon the game forever? Probably not.
How many people out there have fallen off their bicycles at some point? I’d guess most everyone that’s been on one has. I sure have. Barring some horrific accident, did you quit, forever, riding your bike because of one fall? I sure didn’t.
Hockey players – I bet they hardly EVER get hurt. Hee hee – I absolutely did when I played… a lot (there is something alluring about that kind of rough physical contact, but that’s for another post or trip to the therapist). However, at the first instance of being checked to the boards I didn’t quit nor did anyone encourage me to do so (well, maybe my Mom). The same goes for playing soccer – which I always found to be MORE dangerous than hockey because soccer players are less padded and inevitably deliver a viscous kick to the shins now and then.
Overall, people engage in a variety of physical activities, and in each and every one of them there are injuries and pain that sometimes occur. And, like I wrote above, barring some sort of catastrophic accident or injury, most people accept that being active can result in physical discomfort from time to time. And most likely we will heal and are encouraged to ‘get back in the game’. Of course there’s the saying: When you fall off the horse, you have to get back on. Unless, of course, it’s crushed your legs – then maybe dial 911.
There seems to be one exception.
Apparently, that’s one horse we should run from.
For some reason that I cannot fathom, if you so much as stub your toe on a mat, people will advise you to quit doing Yoga. It’s dangerous.
Heaven help you if your friend finds out you’re a little stiff from a particularly intense class. OH MY GOD, YOUR THIGHS ARE SORE FROM TRIANGLE POSE? JESU FORFEND! QUIT! QUIT! RIGHT NOW!! YOU’RE GOING TO HARM YOURSELF PERMANENTLY!
And then, if you’re lucky, you get a laundry list recited to you of every Yoga-induced-injury ever had by your friend, anyone that your friend knows, or injuries of the friends of the friends of the friends . Because, you know, no one ever gets hurt during any other form of physical activity.
I don’t understand this at all. Should I break my arm playing hockey and continue my shift, I’m a hero. But if I strain my thumb during Bikram’s Locust Pose, I should throw in the towel right then and there. Go figure.
If I quit every physical activity in which I had some sort of painful incident, believe me, I’d never leave my bed. In fact, I’ve hurt myself getting OUT of bed and banged my shins on the bed frame getting INTO bed. Should I consider giving up sleeping? I’ve tripped too many times to count just WALKING. But somehow I find the resources within me to solider on. And no one has ever suggested I ‘give it up’. So why do people freak out about getting an injury from Yoga?
I’m open to any and all thoughts.