Hello,

Today was day 11.  Can you believe it… already day 11?  It hasn’t seemed very long.

This morning I took the 9:15 class and I was apprehensive about going because my back was hurting so much, but of course I did go.  I did experience a lot of pain during this class, but I didn’t go deeply into the postures so I didn’t hurt myself more.  I mostly just focused on form.  I’m very good at telling the difference between good pain and bad pain in my spine, probably because I have an unfortunately large amount of experience with spinal injuries.  With some of the postures I did sit out for one of the sets, because I was hurting badly and I didn’t want to push too hard.

So you know how I’m always talking about how Bikram’s is mostly mental?  Well today I taught myself a big lesson in just how true that it.  The whole point of taking the class is to improve my body.  I want to get the most benefit possible out of the class, so it is important to not do something if it is going to do more harm than good.  I think the hardest part about today’s class was sitting out at some points.  Not trying to do everything was the biggest mental challenge of the day.  I had to remind myself not to be competitive, I had to think about only the good of my body, and I had to refrain from putting too much stress on my back.  Some people might enjoy having a break… or having an excuse to take a break.  Those people probably don’t do Bikram’s Yoga.

During triangle pose, I was very very uncomfortable through the hip area.  It felt really pinchy and a bit stiff, so on the right side, I stayed in the set up for the posture and didn’t bring the arms into triangle.  I instead worked on my hip.  As I tried to roll my hips forward, go deeper into the thigh muscle and get my knee to a 90 degree angle, something kind of snapped, or gave way, and I had to come out of the posture.  I was sure I had hurt myself badly and it was all over for me, but it turned out that whatever did happen made my hip and thigh feel better, and made my back feel a bit better.  I’m not totally fine by any means, but at least there was some improvement.

I have this weird feeling like my left side is all tight together and my right side is quite loose.  This is supported by the evidence that while doing half moon pose I can bend to the left normally, but I can hardly come down at all to the right without sever lower spine pain.  Like there is a big ball in the way of me leaning down that is pressing all along the lower spine.  I really hope this gets better.

Since I wasn’t going deeply into postures today, and I was taking extra care not to hurt my spine, I decided to focus on contracting my stomach muscles.  I was amazed at how when I focused hard on this my balance improved ten times over,  I guess I do know how much contracting the stomach muscles helps me to balance, but I forget sometimes.  Of course I skipped the sit ups today.  I think I’ll be skipping them for a while.

I’ll be going to yoga tomorrow night if anyone wants to join me!

-Claire

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So Yesterday I worked super hard and I may have worked too hard as it turns out because I am in serious pain today.  I could hardly do some of the postures in class tonight.  I guess it is because I tried to do the sit ups last class and just pushed my lower back too much.  I have to take it easy now for a bit which is annoying, but I talked to the teacher and she said the best way to get over it is to just keep coming to class.  Which means the challenge is still on!

On the bright side, I did feel a bit better towards the end of class.  It is this really odd burning type of pain that starts on the right side of my spine and wraps around to the from of my hip.  Some of the postures that especially hurt were half moon pose, standing separate leg head to knee pose, and sitting head to knee pose.  Ouch.  It was like tugging a knot apart except for the knot was my spine.

It sucks that I have to back pedal a bit but I think I learned a lesson here:  it really is the form that counts, the depth comes later and pushing it too hard it not a good thing.

I’m having one of those super busy days tomorrow so I’m going “early” in the morning so I have the rest of the day to focus on what needs to get done.  I’m doing 9:15 tomorrow and on Friday, and on Thursday I will probably do 6:00 again.  I don’t want to do too late when I’m doing an early class the next day.

I hope I’m not too sore tomorrow.  Joe and I decided we need to get a new mattress cover.  I’m tired of the springs digging into my back… especially now!

-Claire