How to tell the difference between growing pains and alarming/alerting pain That Signals, And Leads To Further, Distress:
If you move into pose or experience and your discomfort fades as you melt into your new position, lessens as you move into a different shape while releasing tension, stretches you to go further than before while feeling good as you let go of resistance to transition fully into a new form, then you are moving in a way that is beneficial for your growth, flexibility, and expansion. If, on the other hand, you move into a pose or experience and you immediately sense a sharp and jarring signal that indicates that moving further in that way or direction will create more pain, or cause injury, then you are moving toward something that might be destructive if pushed further without first addressing or acknowledging an underlying issue or limitation, or the appropriateness/value of moving in that way to begin with.
It can be challenging at first, depending on how wide your window of tolerance is for certain experiences, and or how flexible (or hyper-mobile) your body-mind is for certain movements, to identify when you have simply reached your “edge” and require further relaxation and endurance to proceed and transform into a more flexible expression of yourself, or whether you have touched a spot that needs healing and is signaling that an area needs rest, strength, support, further care, or healing before proceeding (in the same direction or a different one) in order to prevent more, or serious, damage.
It is essential, however, that you pay attention to yourself in order to learn to identify the difference between good and bad discomfort and or useful and destructive pain. It is also vital that you honor what you see accordingly (especially if you ever feel faced with external pressure that is telling you to go against what you know, and can sense, within you) since you will be the one who lives with the consequences of any actions that you take in your body-mind.
Simply put, there is a difference between eustress (positive stress), which challenges you to grow/expand/relax, and distress (destructive stress) which causes you to shrink/tense up. And, you are the only one who can accurately gage what any type of stress means for you at any given moment.
As you move forward with your practice, please, pay attention to the sensations and the signs that your body, mind, and life give you. There is infinite intelligence available for/to you at all times asking you to use it to ensure that you can flow through life, and your Yoga practice, with the optimal conditions for your full thriving and expression. You just have to tune into what is good for you and move in a way that feels, and is, right for you.
Learning to identify the signs of what is needed in any given moment by paying attention to your inner intelligence/intuition through the conscious choice of simply coming into, and maintaining, awareness of/within yourself (interoception) above all else, is key when navigating through your life and Yoga practice.
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