Tailbone, low back pain AFTER practice

I have a general question about pain encountered the day AFTER a particular yoga routine (not during the practice). I realize you can’t offer medical advice and will speak about this with my doctor when I next see him. But I would like input about whether it’s advisable to continue doing a routine if there is pain the next day (and sometimes 2-3 days afterwards).

I am 65 years old with occasional lower back pain (mostly early morning or late evening after too much couch time). I have some osteoarthritis but not severe. Generally, I find lower back relief from slow movements and stretches such as cat/cow. My specific question has to do with recent, rather sharp pain in muscles around the tailbone the day AFTER a yoga routine. This pain doesn’t occur during the class. The tailbone pain has been prevalent a couple of times after David’s “A 60-min Hatha Flow for Energy and Release.” I really enjoy this class (among his others), except I am generally unable to get into a cowface pose. I do my best to approach it but can’t get my legs to cross completely. Again, I don’t push myself too far and have not encountered sharp pain or discomfort during the class.

I’ve recently had a similar experience with a different area of pain (left buttock) after Rachel’s “Fundamental’s of Practice, Day 7,” which I’ve done several times in the past without any problems.

Thanks for any input you can provide!

Just based on what you said in your post, my own tendency would be to not practice for a few days if you are experiencing that kind of sharp pain. I hope your doctor can provide some answers!

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Pain in this area can be caused by a variety of things but as Duke mentioned, avoiding what is causing the sharp pain is a good idea at least short term. Sometimes we can create micro injuries, or mis-alignments in the sacral area of the spine and tailbone. Often with a bit of time and rest it will sort itself out. That being said it would be good to note exactly what you may be doing on the mat that leads to this pain.

If Cowface pose is aggravating you I wonder if there is another pose to do instead? Maybe figure four on your back so you are still opening the hip?

Thanks to both of you for responding. I did cut back on practice until tailbone pain had mostly subsided, I think that was close to a week. Then after another practice I developed gluteal pain on my left side (again, the day after practice) and this unfortunately lasted much longer. I cut back quite a bit on yoga (and weight-lifting) for about a month (treating with ice and heat) and since then the pain has diminished a lot. I am now practicing again, starting out slowly but very grateful to be headed back to fuller practice sessions. An alternative like figure four is a great idea, I’ll go that route when I encounter Cowface pose in the future! I am also going to get some advice from a physical therapist on how to minimize the risk (or recover) from these types of pain.