The classes this past week were better. I've been focusing more and more on breathing and keeping my abdominal a pulled in. Twice in the past week, I was able to keep my stomach sucked all through a set of Pranayama. Once, I almost made it through both sets. Forward bends are still problematic because my gut is still in the way (but it is getting smaller!). The most surprising thing is my Balancing Stick -- I'm able to hold it longer and longer!
So on Sunday I have a nice, flowing 10AM class. I feel really good -- so good that I think, "I'm going to have to do this sooner or later. I'll come back for the 3PM class and do a double."
The second class started great -- great breathing, solid (for me) Half-Moon and Awkward. Eagle was ok. Then we get to Standing Head-to-Knee. I picked up my left leg and it felt like something had relaxed and I could actually get my leg higher and stand straighter (I am nowhere close to kicking out). So I lift up and for a moment, I'm there! Then something seized up in my left hip and I fell out. Tried to get back in but I could barely bend down to pick up my foot. No better in second set. I didn't panic but I wondered if I could finish class.
In Standing Bow, I moved very slowly and really focused on breathing. As I moved forward there were a couple of twinges but I breathed through them and was able to get in and out of the pose. As I moved through the class, the key was to move slowly and mindfully. In this way I made it through the class.
I went to my normal evening class last night. I informed the instructor of my injury. (ALWAYS INFORM YOUR INSTRUCTOR IF YOU ARE HAVING ISSUES OR DEALING WITH AN INJURY!) The class was more difficult in that any forward bend hurt and I sat out the separate leg poses (Triangle and the poses either side) but that was OK. Sit-ups were impossible. I tried the first one and stopped short, so I skipped the rest. I did try the last sit-up because basically I zoned out and forgot I was hurt. My instructor mentioned it and said to hold off on those for a few days.
Injuries will happen. Sometimes you can work around them. Sometimes you simply have to rest and heal. You know your body better than anyone else, but always let your instructor know what's up. If they give you variations on poses, use them. If they suggest you rest a day or two, consider doing so. They want you to be healthy and enjoy your practice. After all, this isn't life and death. It's just yoga!