Returning to Yoga with a Shoulder Injury
The shoulder injury by way of a broken collarbone by way of falling down the staircase. (Don’t try this at home or anywhere else.)
Eight weeks out, and I’m finally in a place to return to yogasana. What to do with a mending collarbone, with all surrounding soft tissue still tender and limited by way of range of motion?
A little yin yoga to release the scar tissue area. I improvised this afternoon, first some standing poses to regain overall strength. Trauma has its impact not just at the point of contact (read: smashed body parts), but systemically. Our body strives with all of its diminished capacity to heal. Regaining strength and stamina are the foundation, and foundation is of course, paramount in yoga.
Today I played with lying on my back, my injured shoulder supported by small cushions. Imagine draping the shoulder over a small, raised support, and resting for about five minutes. Gently opening the soft tissue that has been so constricted, holding on to the fractured bone for dear life. Slow release. Nice!
Another important lesson today: be Okay with yoga poses looking different than when you are in tip-top form. When you’re recovering, you are not there! Be where you are. Do a little. It does wonders for the koshas (layers of the body) that are craving a return to practice. As Mark Whitwell so sweetly reminds:
Do your yoga!