17 January, 2012

Home again, cautiously

Hatha class with Diane.

After 3 days off, and many ibuprofen, I'm glad to say that it appears the lower back reinjury was minor. It's still stiff, and tired, but getting it moving has felt good, more than being stationary. So, after returning to Seattle in the snow last night, I made it back out there for my first class at Urban Yoga Spa in over a week. It was nice to be back at the home studio. Sort of like Cheers, where everybody knows your name. Only a few people actually know my name, but it still feels good that anyone does.

Because of the holiday, and the snow emergency, today's class was very crowded, and Diane was substituting for Bret. I decided, after a little bit of pondering, that Hatha would be a better reintroduction for my healing back than a more intense Vinyasa class; though there was some thought of the Hatha poses being more along the lines of "hair of the dog that bit me" compared to the Vinyasa series.

Today's class felt really nice... that about sums it up. It was not too hot, not too hard, I set my intention on observing my own personal limits, and paying attention to the way my body felt. And I wanted to enjoy the class. Diane has an extremely calming style, and I always come out of her classes feeling incredibly relaxed anyway. Today, I really wanted to absorb as much of that as possible.

So, where am I at, regarding the low back injury? Well, my hips are quite a bit tighter than they were pre-injury. My hamstrings are pretty tight too, and I think it's partly related to the injury, but may also be the hiking we did the last few days of the trip, combined with sitting on airplanes. As for the poses: Standing Bow with my left leg on the ground was almost not possible; that's one that really gets the spot, when I try to lean forward. On the right side, I am almost unaffected, and had no trouble with it. I was super-careful on Tree pose, even though it's quite a bit different pose in Hatha class. The hip tightness limited me a bit, as well as my caution, but it was not bad. Half Moon I was also very careful with, because the side bends I think have been a little too much for my back, although I have been doing them anyway. Same with the back bend. Though, in contrast, Camel pose was no problem. I guess it's about weight bearing and balance, combined with the bends?

I skipped Hero's pose (Fixed Firm), and took it very easy on all the back-strengthening poses.

Bottom line is that I guess I am cleared to keep doing yoga. For this, I am glad. But I realize that I need to be extremely mindful of where my body is, if I want this ability to persist. My low back is probably always teetering on the edge of acting up.

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