How Do You TRULY Listen to Your Body?

I’m in a bit of a predicament.

As you probably know if you have read any recent posts, you know that I am going through a Yoga Teacher Training program right now.  Each morning (except Saturday), we complete the entire Ashtanga Primary Series, which is pretty intense.

This process has truly transformed my body.  So much so, I am planning to post about it next week when the training is finished.  However, this transformation has come with a LOT of soreness for me.

Running through shin soreness was not a good idea, and nearly took this moment away from me before I had the chance!

Running through shin soreness was not a good idea, and nearly took this moment away from me before I had the chance!

We talk often at YTT about how dull pain is a good thing, as it is the micro-fissures being created in your muscles that help you get stronger and more flexible.  We also talk about the difference between that dull pain and a sharp, shooting pain, which is your body telling you to stop.

My question today is, what happens when you find yourself between the two?

Literally every morning since the training started, I have stepped out of bed to some shocking stiffness and soreness.  I am getting it in the usual spots, but even in strange places like my hands and feet.  It typically eases rather quickly as I get moving, but it is a new feeling for me.

Today, I am having a dull, but constant, pain in the outside of my ankle/foot that radiates all the way up to my  hip.  It isn’t a sharp, shooting pain, but it is definitely uncomfortable and doesn’t feel like your typical soreness.  I’m also noticing a dull, deep-looking bruise in the spot that I am feeling discomfort on my ankle.

I am not one to make excuses.  Excuses are one of my biggest pet peeves.  I try to always remember the great things that my body is capable, and honor my body and how fortunate I am by not selling myself short of a workout because “I don’t feel like it.”  So, as soon as the thought occurs to me that I should sit out the next day, I start to dig deeper.

Is my pain just a result of spending a lot of time in high heels over the weekend?

Isn't he handsome?

Isn’t he handsome?

Did I get to crazy with my awesome wedding reception dancing?

Or, did I push it too hard in my practice today?

At training today, our leader, Caroline Klebl, came to town.  She talked to us for awhile about the importance of maintaining a consistent yoga practice.  Traditionally, this is 6 days a week.  However, she emphasized that importance of recognizing the negative impact over-exercising can have on your body and explained that 3-4 days a week works better for some people.

This was great for me to hear, as I am looking forward to getting back into running and other workouts after the training is over, but I don’t want to lose the benefits I have seen yoga have on my body.

So, now comes the big question.  Am I too sore/tired/injured to practice tomorrow, or am I just burnt out?  How do I know what my body is truly telling me?

What do you think?  Any and all suggestions are welcome (and wanted)!

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