If you read my previous post, you will have seen that I want to share my short experience of yoga and how it is helping to control my back pain. There are plenty of challenges though, considering my very little spinal flexibility, but hey, who doesn’t love a challenge!?
Yoga is a great way to connect your body and mind while building total body strength. Some people do yoga just for the fancy looking poses but it really has so much more to it (especially when you’re not flexible enough to look elegant and picturesque like me haha!).
Yogis on Instagram make it look so easy and pretty, sometimes I have to remind myself that for many of them, that is their job – I will NOT look like that yet. And that’s okay. I will go at my own pace. I will make progress, not perfection. I’ll make a conscious effort to focus more on how I feel in poses/after practice rather than how I might look (like a beached whale most of the time).
I started yoga after feeling much less pain in my lower back from stretching a few times a week. I wanted to take things to another level and find deeper stretches while having some quiet time to myself. I have been practicing since November last year, and while I can still only just about touch the floor with straight legs, I have noticed improvements to my posture, core stability and most importantly, back pain. Also, a couple of weeks ago, without realising it, I found that when I bent down to pick something up off the floor, I felt less stiff and less off balance. That’s a huge bonus, especially when working in a supermarket!
I do about 4-5 practices a week (depending on time) and most last for about an hour. Personally, I prefer to practice in the evening when I can focus on what my body needs at the end of the day.
Of course, I do have to modify some of the pose, but that’s part of the fun I guess. For example, I can’t do any back bends (for obvious reasons) and it is painful if I bend too far back or sideways. This might change in time but I try to move as slowly as possible and make sure I warm-up properly so I don’t do any damage. Most of the time I will modify these to focus more on loosening up my hamstrings and calves.
I also can’t twist very far as some poses focused on extending and twisting from the centre of the spine. Again, I just take the poses slowly and do what I can.
What I love most about yoga is it is one of the only times I can go to my room or the garden, play lyrical and soulful music, and just be.
Sometimes I follow @elle_fit‘s Get Bendy poster and sometimes I use @jessicaolie‘s #letsstartyoga. Other times I just do what feels right. I want to start regularly incorporating @thesouthernyogi’s Ab Asanas to strengthen my core and feel more benefits.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into my practice. Let me know if you have any experience of yoga with an added challenge of back issues, or any other issues for that matter, I’d love to hear your stories!
Find your peace, be happy. x