11 August, 2013

More small blessings

Sunday was Vinyasa + Restorative yoga with Alice Harper.

Saturday was a mandatory day off. I am inclined to think I should not be doing 7-9 days on, with zero days off, given the situation with my back. It's Monday right now, as I write about yesterday's class with Alice. It was absolutely wonderful. I woke up feeling a little discomfort in my low back, and wondering if it was going to get better or worse as the day wore on. I missed the typical "go-to" class with Elizabeth McE at noon, due to my Sunday morning spilling over into a Sunday afternoon. So I was looking at the afternoon (4pm) options around town, and decided that this would be a good class to take, since I hadn't tried Alice's restorative class.

At the start of class, I told Alice about my herniated disc, and she shared that she's gone through a very similar thing with her low back, and she made me feel safe (not sure what she said that did that, but I guess when someone tells you they've been through a similar thing, it can be very validating). Much to my pleasant surprise, the class featured zero twists. I thanked Alice, jokingly, after class for having not called out any twists, and she smiled and said "I know" - she had actually taken that into account in the class that she taught. No twists, because I had said that my low back was hurting. It feels good to have someone look out for me.

The flow was not difficult. It was her usual pattern of rotating around in all directions on the mat, and the flows were reasonably lengthy with some challenging poses. But the pace was very deliberate, and she spoke a lot about taking care of the low back during Chaturangas, etc. There was a reasonably lengthy series of stretches on the floor, which I tried to do carefully to avoid putting pressure on my low back. Then, we dropped into the "restore" phase, which was essentially to lie still, supported on a rolled blanket, and try to really let everything go completely for at least 10 minutes, perhaps longer. 

Once again, I walked out of class feeling better than I felt when I walked in.

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