Advice for Avoiding Injuries

I used to get injured A WHOLE LOT. I’ve broken seven bones, pulled muscles, torn a hamstring, had bulging discs in my cervical spine and sprained an ankle. All of these injuries happened by the time I turned 25, when my life was all about ACTION & IMPULSES.

Someone very dear to me used to say, “Cat, you see something you want and you GO for it. The only problem is that you fail to see all of the obstacles and objects that lie between you and that thing you want.” Pretty spot on. This go-­getter mindset was what kept me young at heart, albeit a little battered in my physical body. I have a spontaneous and adventurous attitude and have been known to make huge, life-­changing decisions before I’ve thought out the logistics. It’s simply my nature to act with my heart and my gut ­ which is something I’ll always do. Experience has showed me, however, that being shortsighted can create far more issues, roadblocks (and injuries!) than necessary. I’ve learned to slow down when making decisions. I’ve learned to step more consciously, both on my mat and out in the world.

Today my yoga practice looks much different than it did years ago. I’m pretty darn flexible, but I always use props to support my practice. I’ve learned to soften my knees to find cleaner forward folds. I’ve allowed myself to use blankets, bolsters, blocks and sandbags to find a much more satisfying pigeon pose. I’m less concerned about the fancy poses and tricks within my yoga practice. Today my favorite poses are simple and/or therapeutic in nature: Crescent Pose, Pigeon Pose, supported shoulderstand, Rounded Plow. Because this practice is potent when it’s used for longevity of health. Isn’t that what this is all about anyway?