Episode 9: Jason Crandell – Pain, Injury & Knowing What You Don’t Know

Hi everyone!

If you have a body and you do yoga, chances are you will sustain some sort of injury at some point. It can be disheartening, confusing, and overwhelming. It can also be a great opportunity for you to learn more about your anatomy, your personal limitations, and your habitual mental patterns (Who me? Push myself???).

On this week’s episode, Jason and I talk about yoga injuries. My initial interest in talking to Jason about this is because, contrary to popular practice, he does not ask people about their injuries before class. Yep, you heard that correctly. So, I ask him to explain this and we cover lots of other aspects, too, including:

* How to discern between stretching sensations and pain that’s injurious
* The benefit of pushing to your edge on the yoga mat
* Whether or not hands-on adjustments are really necessary in the yoga room
* How Jason addresses students’ injuries before class.
* Why Jason doesn’t say that he teaches “therapeutic yoga”

“A lot of times in yoga we use our body to do the pose. At some point we have to stop doing that. At some point we have use the pose to understand the body.” — Jason Crandell

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Jahzzar — Siesta
Ketsa — Always Late
Podington Bear — Funk

If you like what you hear, please feel free to write a review on iTunes. If you share your URL, I’ll be able to get back to you and say thanks. You can also follow me on Twitter @yogalandpodcast.

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  1. Hi Andrea!

    This podcast was so helpful! I thought that the topic you and Jason covered were very valuable to me as a student and as a teacher. It is a big relief knowing that yoga teachers aren’t pressured to know absolutely everything about the body but that we do have the big responsibility in educating ourselves constantly and being honest with what we don’t know and building a relationship with your students to help them experience yoga in a more positive way. Thank you! 🙂 looking forward to having Jason come back to Manila 🙂

    Will definitely share this link on a blog I’m managing : urbanyogi.ph 🙂

    • Thank you, Nica! I’m so happy to hear that it was helpful to you. And thank you for sharing it! All the best, Andrea

  2. Loving the podcasts Andrea – so insightful and helpful both as a student and a teacher. Thank you

    • Thank you, Melanie! So great to hear from you and happy that you’re enjoying it. Hope you are well! Andrea

  3. I have been quoting and recommending the Alexandria Crane and Jason podcasts to my students. In my Level 2 classes, we just started a series on Handstand, Forearm Balance, and Wheel Pose, drawing on the excellent things I have learned from Jason’s online sequencing class, the NYC teacher renewal workshop, and the blog. I am drawing upon the wisdom from these two podcasts to say “Listen to your body, avoid injury,” so they are very timely. I consider Jason my teacher and it is helpful to hear him say there is so much we don’t know as teachers and Alexandria talking about the limitations of teacher training.

    I remember studying Alexandria’s Yoga Journal article on handstand, and it was helpful to hear the “back story” of pushing herself to get in shape for photo shoots and getting injured. We need to hear these things to protect us from our own egos and from the inflated images we get from yoga media and marketing.

    The podcasts are well done and a great gift. Thank you, Andrea!

    • This is awesome, Russ! It makes me so happy to hear that these two have been helpful to you and your students. Warms my heart, in fact! All the best, Andrea

  4. Hi Andrea & Jason,

    first of all I’d like to say with much gratitude just how much I LOVE your podcasts, I look forward to them every week and from every single one I have been able to take away something extremely valuable for my journey as student and teacher of yoga.

    Jason’s latest podcast on pain & injuries has been extremely interesting and thought-provoking and has raised many questions one of which is : How does Jason deal with pregnant students coming to a strong vinyasa practice – of course if we lived in a perfect world all of our pregnant yoga students would only go to pregnancy yoga classes or tell you before class so we can keep them safe, but from my own experience teaching I know this not to be the case. Having completed my Pre-Natal Yoga Training and knowing just how much care we need to take with yoga during pregnancy I make it a point to ask about injuries, limitations & pregnancy prior to starting my classes. I am simply curious what Jason’s view/approach is to this?

    With much gratitude


    • Hi Laura,

      Let me start by saying that I’m no expert on any of it. I have done some training with Jason, and I have done some Pre/Post natal training. I’ve been pregnant, and am brewing baby #2. I continued teaching Vinyasa during my first pregnancy, and doing as much as I was able to do, with modifications. Despite having done yoga for many years before becoming pregnant, I learned A LOT about myself and my practice during the first pregnancy (and after). Like they say, one of the ways we learn best is by experience. That said, there are some things I will do differently this pregnancy (more strengthening and less stretching for one). Even though the pre/post natal classes encouraged self care and discouraged any form of muscle building, I will continue to do as much Vinyasa, for as long as I can, because medical advice suggests that if you have a healthy pregnancy, you should continue usual physical activity. Excessive weight gain and resulting complications are often more dire than continuing a compassionate yoga practice.
      If an experienced yogi were to come to my Vinyasa class, I would let them know what to look out for, give them permission to back off, like Jason said, and let them do the class, since they likely know what they’re doing. If, however, that person hasn’t done much yoga before, I would certainly turn them away. I do not have the bandwidth to give modifications for every pose in group class.
      I hope that’s helpful.

  5. I would love to know that this podcast says, but I can’t hear. Would you be able to provide a transcript of it?

    • Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for this feedback. I am not yet able to provide transcripts, but I am definitely working on it and hope to have them soon. I’ll announce it in the newsletter when I do. All best, Andrea

  6. Hello, This was a great interview and what I take away the most is the idea of “bringing it back to the yoga”.. I work with people who are experiencing mental pain and it can be tempting to get caught up in the problems and the anguish, and all the added suffering around the pain, but there too I’ve found it more helpful for them and for myself to bring it back to the bodily experience and the sensations. One question for you Jason, how would you react to somebody who says, before even trying a certain pose, “I can’t do that because of the pain in my ‘whatever'”. For me this is usually an issue about something else, but I find myself often caught off guard here. Thanks so much for your advice. Hope to be able to study with you soon.

  7. Thank you for this podcast, I am just starting out with teacher training and the advice about manual adjustments makes so much sense. Thank you for all the advice.

    • Thank you for the feedback, Karen! More great stuff from Jason coming this week! Andrea

  8. Thanks for this podcast Andrea and Jason! Having done a bit of training with Jason (and being terrible at taking notes) it’s always nice to have a refresher. I’m looking forward to more like this.

    • You’re so welcome, Denise! I just launched a new one with Jason today 🙂 Episode 14. Warmly, Andrea

  9. Hello — not sure why but this podcast won’t load for me –

  10. I’m so glad I finally started listening to your podcasts, you guys. This one is awesome – so much good advice. In recent years, I’ve stopped asking new students if they have injuries because I don’t want to give the false impression that I know what every injury is. I feel like this podcast kind of gave me permission not to know. Also, from the way you are describing FAI, I think I might have it.

    • Thanks so much for listening, Rebecca. Sorry to hear about the possible FAI. Perhaps worth looking into with a specialist. All the best, Andrea


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