It took me many years to try yoga. I started with a Rodney Yee video. If you don't know, he's an American yoga instructor who rose to national prominence in the early 1990s when he began starring in a series of Gaiam/Living Arts yoga instructional videos. And he's extremely flexible. I felt inept at first, and took it as a challenge to become more bendy.
It was almost a decade later that I became a certified yoga instructor. To this day, Rodney is still more bendable than I.
What I didn't understand way back then is that yoga isn't just about how flexible you are. There is a mind-breath-body connection that can enhance a practitioner's overall well-being. Yoga is also a very personal experience. In a class we may all be doing the same poses, but we certainly don't all look the same in a downward dog, nor are we all experiencing it in the same way.
Our bodies are unique - from musculature to range-of-motion to skeletal structure. In one class there can be someone with a bum knee, another person with an achy back, someone else with carpal tunnel, someone in a larger body, a smaller body, tall, short, beginner, and someone who has been practicing for years. Regardless of the fact that we're in the same class together, we are all going to experience it in our own unique way.
THAT'S why I fell for yoga. It's a personal experience that can challenge you, help heal you, and enhance you.
I hope you'll fall for yoga this fall! Join me at Drive Dance Company on
Mondays and Thursdays at 7:00 PM.
I promise that I will help to make your yoga experience a good one, helping you to modify each pose so you'll get the most benefit. Click below for class info.
Massaging, stretching, icing, ibuprofen, heating, chiropractic visits weren't alleviating the achy, stiff, pain deep in my hip. It forced me to stop running and necessitated easing up other workouts, standing up more frequently at my desk, and buddying-up with an ice pack. When the pain and limitation peaked my frustration, I went to an orthopedic doctor. Of course this was after self-diagnosing online, as so many of us tend to do.
The orthopedic nurse practitioner confirmed hip bursitis. Bursitis is the painful swelling of bursae. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that cushion your tendons, ligaments and muscles. When they work normally, bursae help the tendons, ligaments and muscles glide smoothly over bone. But when the bursae are swollen, the area around them becomes very tender and painful.
Not so fast. Just when I thought I had the green light, a new pain was becoming evident ... in my butt. Deep, deep in my butt. Ice packs became my constant companion, running had to stop (again), yoga was limited, my attitude was in the dumps. Apparently, when I cannot be as active as I am accustomed to it impacts everything from attitude to appetite to motivation to digestion. I was a hot mess.
Back to the doctor I went. She diagnosed a new injury that may have been masked by the previous inflammation, called high hamstring tendinopathy. Runners and yoga practitioners can be prone to this. "
OK, I'll take the cortisone shot and be on my way." Nope. This required physical therapy and lots of rest. The absolute worst words to my ears. I really just wanted the magic shot. I didn’t think I had enough patience for PT or more “rest”. Ugh!
Yoga, very gentle yoga, was an essential component to healing my high hamstring tendinopathy. Time, patience (still working on this virtue), attitude, and listening to my body was key. Eventually, (hours, days, weeks) as my hamstring started to loosen and the range of motion improved, the pain eased up, and (cue the angel chorus), I went running.
It was hot and muggy (my least liked running weather conditions) as I laced up my running shoes, but I ran with a smile.
Happy endorphins are coursing through me again!
There have been a couple minor set-backs, but slow and steady became my new mantra.
What I learned
Join me on Friday, August 25 at Drive Dance Company for a fun, relaxing yoga event that will help you to personalize and enhance your yoga experience!
You'll become more confident when you yoga! Whether it's body size, shape, range of motion limitations, or injury, you'll learn modifications to enhance your yoga practice.
Here are the details. I hope to see you there!