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I'm not sure I could precisely call my pains injuries, but they sure are making yoga difficult. The first is a constant, aggravating heel cramp. It pretty much hurts all the time but it really hurts after about ten seconds of any standing pose. Which has made my practice a wee bit challenging. While I've tried the grin-and-bear-it approach, it's just painful enough that it's not really an option. So, my practice has been a bit restrained. It has, however, made me really focus on some of the backbends that I've been working on, since they don't involve my heel. Backbends make me nervous, since I'm constantly convinced that I'm going to permanently injure myself in the process. I have to think hard about how I'm rolling my back and what parts of my spine are activated.

Backbends are, I think, the hardest for a relative beginner like myself to incorporate into a home practice. My back (and, I suspect, many of the rest of you out there) is just in a constant state of stress courtesy to sitting hunched over in front of a computer for most of the day. So any out of the ordinary movement triggers a pretty quick response . . . and not usually a pleasant one. At any rate, hopefully this heel thing will heal itself soon. Which brings us to injury two . . . a swollen, painful finger.

I have to laugh at the fact that the only two injuries I've sustained during this entire process are to my heel and my finger. It's also equally telling that such seemingly minor injuries have such a substantial impact on my ability to practice effectively. It is, I suppose, the flip side of the fact that yoga engages your whole body. When any piece of it is out of whack, you can feel the impact in your whole practice.

That doesn't mean that I can't practice. I can, and I do. And I'm excited by the fact that I've come far enough on this journey to be able to roll with the punches and keep moving forward, albeit in a modified way.

But it's still a pain in the heel.


I hope you feel better soon! Don't forget to warm up and do stretches before Yoga!!!!! :)

could your heel problem be a bone spur??

Hey Leah. I am sorry to hear about your "injuries". I am a chiropractor and Active Release Technique practitioner in Denver and have treated yogi's with similar heel symptoms. It sounds like it could be coming from your heel, sciatic nerve, and/or your low back. You should have it evaluated. Let me know if I can help you find someone in your area to go to.

Infrared light might help. I strained an area of my upper foot through overexercise and had pain for several months. After I started shining infrared light on the area for seven minutes per day, the pain quickly went away. I also use infrared light directed on my neck for sore throats.

Make sure you never look at the light source (just my intuition speaking here). When I treat my neck, I mask my eyes.

Best wishes.

I hope things improve soon - Yoga should be enjoyable - not 'grin and bear' it experience! I hope, since yoga cam really teach us to use our feet correctly, that this is just a reaction to a different way of standing? Then long term yoga will help you enjoy a wholly better FOUNDATION from your feet and hips and thus. better support for your back, neck etc. Will be wishing you all the best!

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