When yoga hurts

[above video: Old School Krishnamarchaya getting bendy in the woods]

Students ask: “I’m so sore from yesterday’s yoga class… should I
practice again or just rest?”

Let’s take step back and ask answer another, simpler question:
“Why are you sore to begin with?”

Well, the soreness you’re feeling is most-likely a sign of tissue
damage. But damage is a bad thing, right? Well, yes and no.

Obviously, we don’t want to tear our bodies’ connective tissues
to shreds, but at the same time, it’s impossible to drastically
increase your flexibility without some soreness.

So what I’m saying is that true flexibility gains are all about DAMAGE CONTROL. So here are 3 things to keep in mind when you’re really aching:

If you’re so sore that even 10 minutes into class or practice you
still feel pain, then you should stop and rest for at least 2 days.

If the soreness goes away after 10 minutes of yoga practice, then
you’re OK, but go slowly and don’t try to make any flexibility gains.

Go into all your poses at about 80% of your max, and be very
careful not to aggravate the affected area.

When you’re really sore, the goal is not to improve flexibility, but
simply to maintain and massage the sore area.

That’s all for now. Until next time…

Stay bendy,


p.s. Before your stretch, it’s great to do some breathing exercises
to prepare your body. I have a 20-minute program called EXHALE
that’s a great prep for deep stretching. I’ve been giving it away lately with my YOGABODY Flexibility Kit. Details are here:

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