I was never what one might call a yoga devotee. Although, I remember the very first yoga class I went to about 15 years ago with a friend from work and how well I slept when I regularly went to classes. I also remember how strong and flexible my body felt. Because of these memories, I’ve attempted to do some yoga since becoming ill to ease the stiffness and soreness all over my body, and improve my sleep. Unfortunately, most of the poses I tried made me feel more pain instead of soothing it. The only pose that helped at all to calm my severe pelvic pain from time to time was child’s pose, which doesn’t require much movement at all.
As part of my decision to be a more active participant in my healing, I’ve decided to try practicing yoga again. I did a bit of research and found the website Yoga Journal. The site doesn’t only provide instructional videos for “doing” yoga; it also includes educational information about the history and benefits, and can help you find the type of yoga and specific poses to practice depending on what you believe your body needs.
Today was the first day I attempted to do a complete yoga sequence: the sun salutation or Surya Namaskar in Sanskrit. I was able to complete three rounds of the basic variation – minus the jumps to transition between poses and deep stretching –, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering what happened the last time I tried, it’s a huge improvement. I used to work through the series of poses that make up a sun salutation without much thought. I can’t do that now.
I’m relearning how to move my body, after almost three years of being sedentary because of pain. I have to be mindful of each movement I make, how fast I make it, and whether it makes me have an intense pain flare up. I also have to remind myself to breathe because while I focus on moving my body I hold my breath, which makes me tense and could cause me to injure myself. I’m hoping that a slow, steady yoga practice will rebuild my strength and increase my healing, even if it means making each movement cautiously and enduring a little extra pain to start.
Yoga Journal – Watch + Learn: Sun Salutation