January 2010


Since I moved to my new flat, I wasn’t going to my old gym, it wasn’t open at the weekend anyway, so wasn’t much use. So, this week G and I both signed up to the local gym. It is no more expensive than my old gym, yet gives free towels, has a swimming pool and squash court and a decent sized studio. So fat I have been for a swim, to the gym and done a yoga class, which is probably more than I did at the old gym in the last year!

This morning I went to the 10.30 ‘Power Yoga’ class. It looked promising on the timetable as it is actually 90 minutes long. At the old gym, all of the classes were 45 minutes so you couldn’t even get warmed up at at yoga class. This class was quite fun, and probably a good rehabilitation class for me whilst my shoulder is still being troublesome. We started off with some pranayama, and some arm raises, cat stretches etc, the kind of ‘warm-up’ I was taught in my TT. We then did a routine of poses which which mostly involved going from hands and knees to high plank, then straight into downward do. It didn’t do much to wake up the spine, but was a nice respite for my shoulder. We then did some warrior, paravritta trikonasana, and bound arm balance combinations, then some utkatasanas going in to twists. We then hit the floor for salabasana and danhurasana, some seated twists, then a long stretch in pigeon.

I can quite honestly say that pigeon IS my nemesis, not only can I not get my bum on the floor, I can’t get my front leg anywhere near a right angle. We spent a couple of minutes in a pigeon forward bend which was very uncomfortable, the were left to do some ‘freestyle’ back bending in pigeon. I can barely even get my torso upright, so I just went for the grab the back foot option. We then wound down from there with a couple more twists, then a 2 minute savasana.

It wasn’t really a ‘power’ session but did feel like a relaxing Sunday stretch. For free (membership costs aside) it is OK, I wouldn’t go out of my way to get there, but would certainly do it again on a free Sunday morning.

It’s back to the shala again tomorrow, 1 month into my revived practice. I have been telling myself I’ll add bhujapidasana in February, so I’ll try and give that a go. One more pose at a time 🙂

It’s week 4 back at the shala for me, that makes 9 practices so far this year. It isn’t amazing, but represents progress.

I’m still only practicing up to navasana as my shoulder is still troublesome. I seem to have got over the sharp nervy pain but am faced with a dull ache most of the time which increases throughout practice. Keeping my alignment exact during the vinyasas is a must.

Jumping back in sun salutations still isn’t working for me, but I am trying to work with some gentle jump backs during seated. Where I say jump back, really what I am doing is three staged progression through the arms (bum shuffles!). The boyf did mention last night that my girl muscles were coming back?!! I think really what he meant was that my man arms are coming back! I am looking at that as a good thing though as it means that I am getting my strength back.

I am hoping to try bhujapidasana next month, but am not convinced that my shoulder is strong enough yet. I keep intending to try at home, but have forgotten to do that so far.

The biggest deal for me at the moment, and probably a good lesson in yoga and non-attachment, is not to think too much about where my practice was before the shoulder issues and where it is now. It is hard to get around the mental block I have that my shoulder isn’t going to get better, ever and I will never get past navasana. I ended up discharging myself from the NHS physio. My therapist told me that he thought I needed more regular treatment to see improvement, and the NHS is too overstretched to offer that. He said he would write a letter to my GP for a private referral and I will see if my PHC will cover it. This is a relief to some extent as I never felt that my yoga inflicted injuries were as pressing as those of the poor pensioners with broken hips etc.

Anyway, I’ll keep at the yoga, which in the past seems to have cured my various injuries after a while.

The only use for my sweat towel this morning was to dry the snow off my bicycle seat. Yes, more snow in London. Sigh. I am very bored of the weather now, not that I was enjoying the snow the first time around.

I managed to get the spot by the radiator again this morning, which was nice. I really, really never thought I would say that about the end spot! Practice felt a little more solid. I have managed to introduce some small jump-backs into seated; rolling over the knees, then jumping back from them. It all seems to be about alignment of the shoulder. I realized that if I tightly engage my shoulder muscles it keeps the shoulder stable and it doesn’t hurt. I think my gut reaction was to try not to engage in case it was using the muscles that hurt, but that was the wrong approach. Slowly, slowly.

I also managed to bind all of the marichiasanas on both sides, which is also an improvement. My right arm certainly isn’t exactly where it ‘should’ be when I bind, but I can modify so it doesn’t hurt. I might try and add bhujapidasana next week.

All I need now is to start getting my back bends working again. I might try hanging off the bed now and get the underway!

Despite the ongoing shoulder and hamstring issues, the part of my body which seems to have suffered most from not practicing is my spine. What used to feel like a lovely twist in paravritta parsvokonasana currently feels like trying to bend a rusty chain! Urdvha Danurhasana is also pretty ropey.

I am praticing to Navasana at the moment, I did first side of Mari D today, which is an addition to last week. There is some shoulder improvement, which is heartening.

For the first time ever I was pleased to be practicing next to the radiator, although when I moved to the finishing room it felt comparatively cold, a one minute savasana was all I could manage.