Catch 22 – could use some insightful advice. Short background to the upcoming questions; Overall, I’ve struggled with “mild” chronic pain for many years, from the age of 12 (bullied) up to the full scale TMS-triggering injury in Sep-11. The pain level between the ages of 12-24 wasn’t so bad (26 now), but I had troubles with my right foot, upper back and with my right knee. I spent at least 2 years working with a physio with minor improvements (surprise?) during this period. However, after my “back injury” (during a time of great social pressure in Sep-11) it turned ugly and my focus shifted 100% to the back pain and the “new injuries” that followed up to present day. As I learned about TMS as late as in April-13 it had given me approx. a total of 4 years of physiotherapy for the following; knee, back, ankle, hands, foot, elbow & hamstring/piriformis. To sum up, I’ve probably done all exercises available to man and lots of them. Inspired by the TMS-stories I signed up for an Ashtanga yoga instructor class (1 month intense training in June-13) hoping to truly overcome my fear of moving and include meditation in my training. Now, I was by far the most stiff and novice in the group (several years of ice hockey and floor ball without stretching wasn’t an ideal start for my hamstrings) and of course, since I am a perfectionist, always try to fit in and criticize myself I pushed myself a little bit too hard and overworked my hamstring (or TMS struck). Finishing the course (90% believing in TMS at this point) I visited a renowned physiotherapist gave me excentric strengthening and stretching exercises for my hamstring, which I thought was the “exception-injury” and that I’d actually hurt it. It got a little bit better but I have not yet dared to return to yoga, 7 months later. (which itself is a Catch 22 since I 99,99% believe in the TMS-theory now). My two questions are as follows; 1. A part of TMS-theory says that you should leave physiotherapy and go back to full activity, for example lifting weights. However, as I’ve been taught (by my 20 physiotherapists) the importance of core muscles etc. + the fact that I’ve done physiotherapist induced strengthening exercises for all of above body parts my “ironwill thought pattern” is closely intertwined with movements in the gym. By an “ironwill thought pattern” I mean thoughts like “ok, if you train hard enough this muscle WILL grow and you will feel less pain”. Of course putting pressure on myself and connecting the movement/pain as structural. I truly feel how I send mixed signals to my brain and I need to go home and reread SteveO:s book to go back to “yeah it is TMS”. I do not know how to tackle this. And no, I do not find it particulary fun to lift weights, but having larger muscles has always been a way to overcome low self-esteem and selfhate. Also, in my current life situation I got access to a free gym, which I’d like to use… since it’s free. Not certain I how should think about this. 2. I enjoy yoga as a concept and in a great extent the harmony it (in theory (should)) give(s) me. But unfortunately it is, as everything else in the realm of exercising, a competition for me. It makes me feel bad to see others being flexible and strong while I am a yoga instructor and can’t even touch my toes while standing with straight legs. Also, as I’ve done so much “rehab” training for my hamstring that all sort of stretching initiates a thought pattern that either says “oh shit, you are hurting it again” or “ah, as soon as you get this stretched out you will be pain free, good looking and get a lot of respect from being a yoga teacher - just be consistent with the superboring stretching!” Once again, I feel that I send mixed signals to my brain and I do not know how to tackle it. As soon as I start exercising I condition myself to think in terms of structural improvement. Also, which sucks, I'm in general stiffer now then when I practiced yoga. Any suggestions on how to think? Cheers.