DID I SAY THAT?
Yoga class was last night. I was dreading it all day, and by the end of the day I was actually trying to talk myself out of going: I was tired; I didn't want to be more sore after class; I had some shopping to do; I had forgotten to bring different clothes (from my sweaty running stuff); etc. But maybe to just prove to myself that I wasn't a wimp, that I could actually do this stuff, or maybe because I was a glutton for punishment, I went.
Two of the regulars weren't going to be there that night, and we already have a small class, so I was glad two new people showed up. Something the instructor said to one of the new people triggered the response from me that I was trying to like the class. That opened up a whole dialogue then on why I didn't like the class. Was I uncomfortable, in pain, what was it? I said all of the above. I told her I was having some back and shoulder issues and that some of the poses were just too hard for me, that I actually felt beat up by the time I left, and even a little physically ill from the pain. The answer to that, then, was to modify. Whenever any yoga pose causes pain or discomfort, the rule then is to modify that pose or do another.
The class then focused mainly on doing exercises/stretching that helped open up the shoulders and back as well as the hips, all areas I have been complaining about for weeks. And no amount of my stretching, or working with the massage therapist or chiropractor was helping.
Who knew that yoga wasn't all about downward facing dog or warrior poses? But the interesting thing that happened was I gained a whole new perspective on stretching. You need to engage all the muscles around the one you are trying to stretch to actually achieve the stretch. So we practiced that as well.
The end result? When I got done with that class, I felt the most relaxed I have felt in I don't know how long. And the best part? No back, hip, or shoulder pain that I have been dealing with for so long. I can honestly say there probably hasn't been 5 minutes over the course of the last 7 or 8 weeks where I have not had some degree of pain, yet suddenly it disappeared.
Maybe there is something to that yoga afterall.