Solving shoulder pain with the Saka Pinda

If the New York Times loves it, and blogger Roseanne at It's All Yoga Baby loves it, then I firmly believe I will love it too.

I am talking about the Saka Pinda Yoga Backpack. Until today, I didn't do the fancy yoga mat bag thing. I'm mostly low maintenance about hauling my stuff to and from class. I owned a mat bag once, but got annoyed squeezing the mat into the bag all the time. It also didn't fit what I considered a very minimal amount of clothes, so I ditched it.

That was a few years ago. Since then, I have just tucked my mat under my arm and scoffed at the people with fancy mat bags. Last year, I went out on a limb and bought a mat strap, and carry everything else -- on the weekdays, it swells to two changes of yoga clothes, work clothes, sneakers, a journal and a water bottle -- in a massive green and white beach bag.

But that canvas bag weighs a ton. And my right shoulder is paying for it. It hurts a lot and the pain has made me extra cautious about binds and other intense shoulder openers in my practice. But until I read this post, I didn't think I could fix this problem beyond trying to lighten the load and use my left side, with minimal success.

But then I saw the Saka Pinda. Look at it. Doesn't it look comfy? I love that you can just Velcro the mat in instead of wrestling it into the bag. There's pockets and space for clothes. The NYT calls it "absolutely the No. 1 bag hands down." Roseanne said it was amazing. I got online immediately. I can't wait to use it and share what I think. Shoulder pain, begone!
(Image from nytimes.com)

And for the word of the week. This week, my word is "lower." That's an easy one, right? But I got feedback that I use the word "drop" and while it works to drop the head or drop all thoughts, it's not really that smart to tell an intro class to drop body parts like their knee or arm. It lacks intentionality. So instead, my dear students are being asked to gracefully and mindfully lower.


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Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr