The last of a 3-part series from student questions on backbending. The question is:
"Sometimes I experience waist pain after backbending practice. What am I doing wrong? I also have pain while preparing for advanced inversions."
There are many factors that could be attributing to this. However, it is not always about doing it wrong.
First, let’s look at what kind of pain it is. There are different kinds of pain and not all pain is equal. Pattabhi Jois used to say, “little pain today, gone tomorrow”. Sometimes that little pain is a lot of tomorrow's later, however. While pain is often an indicator of the muscles and joints having been stretched physically beyond their known limit it is not always best to ignore it. Some pain is normal and part of the process. Yet, determining what is good and bad pain is an on-going process and a learning curve. To think of pain as any kind of perquisite to the practice is not always wise. There are 4 suggestions you can work with that will help you determine what kind of pain it is (good or bad). As well, it will lead you into another dimension of your practice with a different understanding of the pain itself. Pain as Patajalim wrote in the Yoga Sutras is a mental modification. It is not so much the pain, but how we learn to respond and react to it. Read more here.