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Yin with afflicted hamstring tendon

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Joined: 16 Dec 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:57 am    Post subject: Yin with afflicted hamstring tendon Reply with quote

I saw Bernie's admirable story of abstinence from forward bending when he realized that it was the only thing that would cure his chronically inflamed upper hamstring tendon. I have concluded that I am in the same situation. I've been practicing yoga daily for 30 years, and two yrs ago developed a foot problem that kept me from walking much for two years. I kept doing yoga, especially yin, not realizing that my hamstrings were at risk because they were getting weak from disuse. I developed a tendonitis near my sitz bones. My main treatment for it is gentle strengthening exercises from a Yoga Journal article. I am also starting to do squats and straight-legged deadlifts, carefully, at the gym.

Question: 1) I love Yin classes, and wonder if I need to give them up completely in order to let this problem heal? If I go, I guess I should talk to the instructor and explain that during forward bends, I would only be doing the pose perhaps 5%, so there is zero stress on the hamstrings? I guess it would be pretty gauche to do some other type of pose while are doing forward bends? 2) Might you know of a physiotherapist in Victoria who is knowledgeable about this kind of problem? My impression is that most physios are trained in treating really acute problems. Many thanks.
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Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1128
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:28 am    Post subject: Yin Yoga when your hamstrings are injured Reply with quote

Hi Neil - sorry for the delay in responding to your questions. Better late than never though!

Your instincts are valid: go to the Yin classes - you can still work many other areas, but do practice zero tolerance for any pain around your "sitz bones." Your situation sounds very similar to my own, and it did take almost a year for my hamstring tendons to stop bothering me. Be patient.

Also be a bit careful with your adductor/inner groins. These muscles join the same place as the hamstrings: to the ischial tuberosities. They share a common tendon there, so don't be overly ambitious with wide legged postures. However, hips work, back bends and many other areas can be safely worked.

It is not considered gauche at all to do a different pose than what the rest of the class is doing. Remember: this is YOUR journey. You are not there for the teacher's benefit - she is there for your benefit. It is polite to let the teacher know before class of your injury and tell her that you will do something different when the class goes into any poses that stress the hamstring tendons. But don't let your ego push you into poses that you know aren't right for you, especially just because "everyone else is doing that pose."

Strengthening the hamstrings via more yang practices is a good idea, again only if there is no pain: locust pose; lifting one leg while in down dog; or in a standing forward fold - these can help strengthen this area.

Good luck (oh - and sorry, I don't know any physiotherapists in Victoria, but that is a good idea too!)
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