My left groin muscle hurts after driving. Not hurts like an “ouch that’s annoying” but an “OMG I’m walking crooked because this stinking hurts” kind of way. The first time I felt it, I brushed it off. But the second time? The yogi detective in me went to work to figure out what was causing this new uncomfortable asymmetry in my body.
Our bodies are not symmetrical in any way. From the freckles and moles that are on your skin to the way the nerves and vessels travel down your legs, the left and right sides of your body are not identical. There is nothing wrong with this and we are all this way and as we mindlessly make our way through our day, we tend to do things one sided. You may only carry your purse over your left shoulder. Or maybe you only carry your wallet in your right back pocket, so that when you sit, your hips are askew. Or maybe you always slouch off to the right side on your daily commute. These asymmetries manifest themselves in mostly the soft tissues of our bodies – one side becomes too short, too strong, or too weak – but over time they can also make change within our bony structure. You know when you see an older person who is hunched over in their spine? Thats not an inevitable part of aging – it is from 70+ years of slouching and the bones actually changing their shape to conform to the stress of slouching that leads to the new curvature in the spine.
So why does my left groin hurt after driving? Well for starters my posture is atrocious when I drive. I slouch and allow my thighs to fall outwards among other things. And even though I know that this tightens up my hip rotators, I slip up sometimes. But a new sensation is never created out of nothing – I have changed my routine and it is affecting my body.
This is where the yoga comes in. We spend our entire yoga practice listening and tuning in to our bodies. If you practice this awareness enough, it doesn’t end the minute you roll up your mat. You become more aware as you make your way through your day. Within the scope of your yoga practice, you build and strengthen your brain’s awareness of the rest of your body. When you can distinguish the difference between flexing just your big toe and not the rest of your toes, your brain has improved another neural pathway. So I used my yogi detective-ness to get to the bottom of the pain in my groin.
Don’t laugh at me – but Ella’s treat pouch is stuffed to the brim anytime we go out. And it always sits on my right hip.
Lesson learned – keep aware and keep it balanced and the body stays in tune.

PS. Go vote ;) (had to say it!)