Yoga is making me tense up
February 2, 2014 8:45 PM Subscribe
Can you relate to my extreme resistance to relaxing? What has worked for you?
posted by Tandem Affinity to Health & Fitness (32 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I am looking into yoga because my lifelong migraine/headache issues have flared once again and seem to be accompanied right now by crazy muscle knots in my back. Besides some pharmaceuticals and trigger point injections, my doctor has also recommended some yoga/meditation to help me relax. I freely admit I live a tense lifestyle, with a long hectic workday plus freelancing and overambitious hobbies on the side, so it does seem like a little downtime is in order.
Even as I sat in the office agreeing that this would be a good idea, I was wailing a little on the inside. I just can't stand the idea of 'wasting' half an hour of my precious free time to do 'nothing'. I know this is irrational. It seems like a good idea to chill for a little while on a more regular basis. But I am perfectly good at sitting around and watching interesting TV or taking a Lush-enhanced bath; this kind of chilling is obviously not enough for those knots in my back. The idea of adding what in my mind is equivalent to exercise makes me want to scream - I already go to the gym a sufficient amount - I have to do some other exercise ?!?!??!!? when I could be lounging in the tub?!?!?!? or watching TV ?!?!?! or reading a good book?!?!?! Hopefully, this paragraph is sufficiently illustrative of my irrational mind.
This irrational part of my mind is quite strong though; I am actually getting upset and thus more tense just thinking about all this. The gnarly headaches are actually less dreadful to that part of my mind than giving in to doing some deep breathing. I am a little flummoxed by how strong these feelings are. I would guess part of it is how upsetting the whole headache thing is, and then being told that I need to stop doing some things I enjoy every day to do something else that I don't like, in order to treat symptoms that other people don't have to deal with.
So what can I do? The first thing I thought of was yoga in the bathtub so I will be exploring some instruction on that. But since yoga/meditation seems to be about becoming more self-aware to relax and since I can't even think about the *idea* of this without getting more tense, I can't imagine actually doing it or getting any benefit from it. So I thought I would also ask here to see if anyone else could relate to this extreme resistance I am having and ask what has worked for you?
(p.s. - I have entertained the idea of going to a formal class, but a) I don't know how I would fit in the extra travel time vs. just finding 15-30 min a day to be mindful at home and b) I imagine myself just being pissed off and annoyed with the whole thing due to all the irrationality above but aiming it at the class, instructor, etc. and just dropping the whole thing and blaming it on the class, putting me right back here.)