Hero's Pose on a blockWe have all had that moment, when we’ve gone too far in yoga. Instructors always remind us to stay hydrated, breathe through the move, listen to your body. But, still, sometimes a pose just gets the best of us. Here is my story of how hero’s pose became my favorite yoga pose… NOT!

Monday, after the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend of eating too much and drinking way more wine than water, I got on my mat and thought, “Man, this is going to be a tough one today.”

The instructor cues Hero’s Pose, and I cringe, as it is my least favorite pose of them all. “Ah, my knees and quads!” I thought. But I told myself that I was going to embrace it and just breathe through it.

Normally, I will do this pose seated on a block, but during this particular practice, I was feeling a bit more flexible. I started to go back, and to my surprise, I kept going. I made it down to my elbows, starting to see if I could still keep my knees together and lie on my back. I noticed that my back was SUPER arched, and something just felt off. But in my head, I was thinking, “This is the farthest I have ever gone. This doesn’t feel so bad. I can’t believe my knees aren’t screaming!”

The instructor came over to help me go a little deeper into the pose. She pressed lightly on my pelvis, moving it a little closer to the floor. Again, it felt odd, but not painful. I just kept thinking, “I have never been this far. Maybe this is how it feels.” What I didn’t account for was my dehydration coming off a long holiday weekend.

Fast forward to later that night as I am trying to make it up the stairs to get into the shower. My whole right side, from my glute all the way down to my ankle, felt SUPER tight. I shrugged it off thinking I just needed to drink more water.

As the week went on, the pain started to get worse. Bending my knee was becoming more challenging. Soon, it started to swell. This is when I knew it was time to call Dr. Lash at Beyond Chiropractic. All I needed was some BioFreeze and Kinesio tape, and I would be good to go.

Though I am still nursing my injury back to health, I wanted to share this story to prove that even those of us who have been practicing for decades can still take a pose too far. In the past 16 years of my practice, I have had many injuries, but none like this. What’s surprising to me is that I didn’t fall. I didn’t trip over anything. I simply overstretched my dehydrated self.

We are supposed to drink ½ our body weight in ounces DAILY. I find on weekends it is harder to do that, which is why I make myself practice on Mondays. I use it as a reset to start the week off on the right foot.

I knew that day that something didn’t feel quite right. Even though it wasn’t really painful as I was in the pose, something just felt off, as if I wasn’t meant to be where I was. But I pushed through.

This is the perfect example of when to listen to your body. It is so important in our yoga practice to be mindful of the poses that are releasing tension and those that are just creating more. Pain will not always be the signal, so, again, listen to your body!

It is not worth it to push it too hard, and hero’s pose is DEFINITELY not the pose to do that. When people ask me about my knee, I tell them the story and mention the pose. Every time, 9 out of 10 of them say, “I hate that pose.”

Um, yea. Me, too! I’d rather be in Dancer or Warrior or even Chair Pose (which is probably my second least favorite pose) than be in Hero’s Pose.