I think I may have answered my own question regarding the hamstring. This morning, as I pushed through the sensation - with care and attention - I felt a shift. After a few minutes of this, things started to open up and lengthen. It felt AMAZING!
Kurmasana is the pose that tore my hamstring. A commenter asked where I was feeling discomfort prior to the injury. It was right around the attachment to the left sit bone. One day, I was lifting my heels in Kurmasana (something I had been doing for months) when I felt a sharp pain around my left sit bone. I knew immediately that it was bad, and it was.
As the injury healed, I continued with my daily practice, making all of these hilarious modifications to the Primary Series to accommodate my gimpy hamstring. Lots of bent legs! It seems silly now, but I often wondered if I would *ever* be able to do Kurmasana again. It felt so impossible! The pose used to be one of my favourites and over the summer, I watched with a bit of envy as shala-mates came into it.
Earlier in the week, I was experimenting with Kurmasana, engaging my legs and nearly coming into the full expression of the pose, chest close to the floor, and then strongly engaging my legs...as if my heels might lift (but not lifting my heels).
Today, I did this for five breath cycles and continued for another five. My chest was on the floor, I was feeling really comfortable in the pose and there was no sensation at all around my left sit bone. So I tentatively lifted my heels:
I know I'm not out of the woods yet. There will inevitably be days when I'm stiff and uncomfortable, but I think the worst is over. Lifting my heels in Kurmasana felt like the final test, and I've passed! I'm now learning where my limits are with this healing injury and how to move past them with care.
This has been SUCH a learning experience!
Every morning, Princess Fur gets her fur combed out. If I don't do this, she turns into the schnauzer version of Bob Marley with fantastic dreads.
When I call her over, she hesitates, then finally heaves herself out of the basket and then (I swear I'm not making this up!), she DRAGS HER FEET until she's standing in front of me, head hanging low. It's like she's lost her best friend.
Then she gives me this pleading look:
Oh, poor, abused little dog!
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