I re-started my usual yoga routine to find that I was exacerbating my injuries, much to my frustration. I had to admit I felt better when I didn’t do yoga. However, I really didn’t like the idea of cutting it out of my life, even if it meant I got to sleep in more each morning. Hrmm….
So I did some research. And I’m thrilled I found San Francisco’s Healing Yoga Foundation – a non-profit organization that teaches yoga to help heal, be it from an injury, a chronic or terminal illness, or an emotional problem. What a gem of a place!
Last week, I had my initial consultation, which was a really eye-opening experience. After asking me lots of questions, Kate (the founder) and Norma (a teacher trainee) built me a customized routine specifically to help with my injured shoulder and my sciatica. The routine-building was very interesting. They’d get me to try a proposed pose, being sure that it didn’t cause the slightest discomfort or twinge. With that kind of attention, I learned that I should avoid a lot of my favorite poses, because they actually strain me too much. Throughout it all, Kate and Norma were very communicative, as well as attentive to my body language. I appreciated their thoroughness.
I left there feeling really…empowered, for lack of a better word. Excited, too. I really like the idea that I can continue yoga and focus on healing myself. So many therapies (like massage and chiro) that have helped have also made me—in a sense–dependent on them. As well, they are expensive. I like the independence of this. I’ll go back for a consultation to make sure my routine is working for me. Then, I return if or when I want to.
Now I just have to manage my expectations, yet again. My routine feels a bit like what I imagine a grandma would do. Ahem. I don’t even do a full downward dog! But I keep reminding myself it’s not about what I look like, it’s about the ole proverbial breath, and how I feel. A bit easier said than done. But I’m committed. I’ve done yoga five mornings in a row without triggering any pain. Progress!