My next instalment comes at day 65 of 84. Spurred to write this by a friend who asked me how I was getting on with my 3 month yoga/joint mobility/body weight circuit program. Her inference was that knowing my personality how in the hell was I lasting the course of such inner strength training rather than my usual full on physical stuff. I replied truthfully which is that I have noticed terrific gains in range of movement and mobility since I started this, that I have now increased the intensity and sophistication of movement for the body weight circuits 5x since I started, way more than I set out to do. But that my mind was wandering during the yoga section and it was that section I wanted to improve upon. Hearing myself explain to her I’d added weight lifting and sprint training to my routine I couldn’t help be disappointed in myself weights and running is what I have always done, it keeps me in my comfort zone, I know it inside out. What’s wrong with me I mean how hard can it be to stick a poxy yoga program at the end of some flipping around??
The next day I signed up to 30 days of Bikram yoga. That will take me nearly to the end of my 3 month experiment and if I cant find the motivation to chuck a few poses into my routine I have a yoga school down my road that will make me do it. My sticking point with yoga is in it’s stillness-I tire mentally too easily, I get distracted and my mind wanders when I should centre it. I race through the poses without breathing correctly to get it over with so I can hop into the shower and get on with my day. I chose Bikram because it was supposed to be the more physical of the yoga varieties and less “hippy”. Let me tell you that if listening to a teacher whilst contorted discuss the merits of the poses massaging our ascending and descending intestines is not hippyish then I dread to think what a hippy class would be like. I managed not to laugh out loud, not because it didn’t seem ridiculous but because expending an electron of energy over what was required from us in that blistering heat definitely wouldn’t have been wise! After she told us we may become emotional upon exiting the camel pose I stopped listening and decided if I was going to come back there was no way I could listen to that.
On about day 45 of this experiment I managed to take a full face smack from an 11 year old at my boxing club! Somehow it caused further damage to a fragile area in my neck and a disc bulge that squashed a nerve running down my arm into my hand rendering 2 fingers completely numb ever since. Chiropractic treatment is gradually resolving the issue however the disc inflammation will reduce in its own sweet time, leaving me currently in a state of limited neck mobility.
About 20% of the poses in Bikram yoga entail full spinal extension with emphasis on looking behind you as you bend backwards. This is a horrific movement for me and causes intense discomfort. After that the compensation pose they get you into involves lying on your front with your head one way, ear to your mat. As well as this being nearly impossible for me it is the number one rule of chiropractic to avoid these positions with neck and back problems, so there was no way I was going to be able to play here either. Pushing so hard in the heat was one thing but damaging an already damaged area was all together another.
Leaving the studio I thanked the teacher…and although I will return and it does sound that I hated her, I felt that she did a fantastic job at motivation and instruction and seemed to have a great understanding and pedigree in yoga. As I walked out she told me that my neck injury (she saw it on my admission form but didn’t know what it was) would go away if I continued practising, I didn’t ask her where she plucked that wise advice from, but next time I’m able to mutter words upon exiting the studio I might tell her yoga cant save everyone but Ill give it a damn good shot before I’m beat!