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EssJay

Ouch, My Tailbone Hurts!

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I just discovered this blog and it's such a wonderful resource for a fairly new yogi like me. Thanks, Candace! :)  So here's a question/problem that's been bothering me throughout my practice. My tailbone seems to be closer to the surface of my skin than is normal. Poses that require you to perch on that area (such as boat/navasana) are very painful, even after tripling up my mat, because my tailbone digs into the floor. I have an average body weight, so it’s not because of too little padding. I can deal with the mild discomfort of my hip bones digging into the floor on some poses but my tailbone is much sharper/pointier and creates significantly more pain. I often end up with bruising or redness in that area after class if we’ve done a posture like that. (It’s even worse in Pilates class since a lot of Pilates postures are set up like this.) I mentioned it to my teacher once and it seemed to stump her; I don't think she has run across this problem before. I suppose I could substitute other moves but I hate to do that because a posture like boat is such a core challenger and my core needs it. I was wondering if anyone else has a tailbone that gives them trouble and, if so, whether you’ve come up with a good solution. Thanks!!

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Welcome! Is that your dog in your profile pic? Such a great shot!

 

I don't have the same issue, but I experienced similar pain with my knobby knees whenever we need to do knee to floor lunges and other poses.

 

Have you already tried padding with a folded up blanket on top of your mat? I found folding a blanket (even up to 4 times) gave me enough relief for my knees.

 

I've also had to shift my weight on my knee so that it's more on the flesh of my leg instead of the actual knee cap. Is it possible to shift your weight without losing your balance in boat to avoid tailbone pressure?

 

If it still doesn't work, maybe other yogis here can suggest core strengthening alternatives, such as plank variations? Good luck in finding what works for you!

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I had a student in Germany with whom I worked closely on the exact same problem. She even showed me her tailbone, well, like - with her clothes on, haha, and it really stuck out very far. She was working with a physiotherapist there, and they were trying some things, but essentially it was just how her body was built. I told her to skip any poses that caused her pain. (I felt terrible because I do this awesome boat rocking thing for abs and had always included it before I knew how painful it was for her!!!)  She also brought a blanket to class and would use that for extra padding, but otherwise I would just say to skip anything that causes pain.

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Thanks for the great advice! That’s not my dog in the pic but my own two dogs have a dedicated, if narrowly focused, yoga practice. They get sooo much length in the spine in downward dog, but their eagle stinks.  :D
 
I haven't found a way to shift my balance to avoid the poking tailbone, and I’ve never had a blanket with me in class as we don’t use those as props in the classes I take. I’ve tried to use my little sweat towel on top of my folded mat and that’s definitely not enough, but I’m going try a real blanket at home first and see if it allows me to do these poses with less discomfort. If not, I’ll do as you suggest and skip them and maybe do a plank variation instead. Thanks again! 

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I have problems with my tailbone feeling a lot of pressure during certain poses because I'm skinny and have no padding! Even rolling back and forth on the spine can hurt when my bum/tailbone reaches the floor....I generally avoid or limit the time I spend in these poses (for example boat). Sometimes, focusing on your sit bones and drawing the weight into this area can help bring some pressure of your tailbone. We're all built differently and we have to respect our bodies, whatever way they are, so if any position is causing you pain don't continue with it and instead, do something that feels good for you :)

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