I went to my fourth class on Tuesday evening at Thrive, with Pierre again. I kept trying to throttle back on my practice, to keep from overreaching and getting ahead of my recovery. For the first time, I did some jump-backs and jump-forwards in my vinyasa, but only after warmly up thoroughly. I did notice a touch of stiffness and discomfort in my injured knee. I have to be careful when getting into kneeling positions, like hero’s pose (Virasana) and even child’s pose (Balasana) because my body weight rests heavily on my knees.
Pierre will not be back at Thrive for a while. His nomadic journey will bring him back to the DC area in February. He’s helped me feel more at ease with my injury and inviting me accept the healing process as a renewed exploration of my body: “With the breath, everything you do can be yoga.”
I am slowly working my way back to practicing yoga. My orthopedic surgeon has given me a thumbs up on my recovery, and does not need to see me again. I have been putting in a daily average of 30 minutes walking and 30 minutes stationary bike for about a month. I’ve gone back to climb the eight flights of stairs of my office building. I’ve been doing some of the rehab exercises. I had a session of acupuncture on my knee today, and I’ll get a massage tomorrow, so I’ve been lavishing care on my body.
If I do a lot of walking, I will have a little discomfort in my knee the following day and it will feel stiff. I’ve also noticed recently that I have a lot of discomfort in my right sit bone, probably due to the hamstring. I can’t take sitting down for a long time.
I am aiming to start up yoga class again next Tuesday at Thrive Yoga. Pierre Couvillion will teach that evening. Although it’s a relatively advanced, all-levels, vinyasa flow class, I would prefer to have the watchful eye of a yoga therapist watching as I move through the poses. He told me he could indicate modifications of those poses that might be risky for me.
I really miss the community of the yoga studio, and also the disciplined structure that a regular practice builds into my life. Even though I should have more “free time,” I don’t seem to get a lot more done. I really miss the big muscle movements from the vinyasa. Aerobic exercise or weight lifting does not provide the same kind of satisfaction.
Everything Yoga: “As a yoga therapist in training, it pains me to see people getting injured by what’s supposed to be a healing practice. The goal of yoga is not to force your body, but to get in touch with your body and honor it.” Diane Cesa’s Everything Yoga has been nice enough to link to this blog despite the limited amount of blogging that I’ve been doing lately, so I am returning the favor. But the quote is actually relevant to my practice.
In yesterday’s yoga session at Thrive, I tweaked something in my lower back. I did not notice it until I had cooled off and gone home so I cannot identify which asana or movement might have overtaxed my muscles. I think that the session was not particularly difficult or strenuous, and I’ve been focusing on body awareness during my session, both in terms of breath and alignment. Kim Dellaroca, the instructor, had just been at a hip opener workshop so she emphasized that in the class so my ache might be simple muscle fatigue.
I had a far more serious problem with lower back pain about two years ago so I am concerned about how serious this might be.
In the Sunday class with Kim Groak, I mentioned my problem to Kim. She did a class that was strong on hip openers as well. I felt much better after the class than before so she must have done something right. I was able to do Half Moon pose with my arms spread wide. It had always been hard for me because my hips tended to be unstable, throwing me out of alignment, not to mention my general balance deficiency.