Spine Twisting: #26 for a reason!

I did something stupid.

I should’ve known better and I DO know better, but I didn’t think it through…

My left hip/back has been off for a while now–the muscles just chronically tight. As loathe as I am to admit it, yoga was making the problem worse. As a result, the past couple months since training I’ve really had to scale back, both in terms of how often I practice and how hard I push when I do practice. It’s very frustrating for my athletic, die-hard, perfectionist (AND YOGA-CRAVING) personality.

Anyway, long miserable story short, I’d spent all day at work with it bugging me. So I decided to stretch it out– a dash of half-tortoise, then a dab of spine twisting. I felt a vertebrae shift into place (aaaaahh), then twisted a little further and felt something else move abruptly… in a not-good way. I took some Advil and went to bed, content that it would have solved itself by morning.

HOLY BEJEEZUS was I wrong.

I couldn’t get out of bed. I sat up (cue STAB-YOU-IN-THE-BACK, SUCKER-PUNCH-YOU-IN-THE-GENITALS-FOR-GOOD-MEASURE PAIN), and spent 20 minutes trying to get my muscles to relax enough to lay back down. I couldn’t life my left leg an inch off the bed. My back and hip muscles (in technical-speak, it’s most likely my psoas and some angry surrounding muscles to boot) were permanently contracted in a Holy Crusade-level of rage. I spent two days in bed, not moving (can you think of a more fitting or more brutal punishment for me?).

That was ten days ago, and tonight was the first night I dared to take class once again. [I’ve been teaching plenty, secretly jealous of my students every second of the way.] I’m happy to be back, even though there was very little I could do. Exhibit A: Half Moon–5° to the right, 5° to the left, a massive 10° backwards, and oh hey we’re just gonna hang out here in pada-hastasana ’cause actually pulling would be the WORST. IDEA. EVER. And that was only the first posture!

Super-frustrating to feel like my practice has taken a gigantic step backward, but I know it’s only a setback and not truly backward. Now, I will be more patient, more careful, and probably have an even better foundation by the time I’m back up to speed. Also, it makes me a much more compassionate teacher…. right?

The moral of this little parable?

There’s a REASON we practice class in the heat, and there’s a REASON why the postures come in the order they do. This way, they are SAFE and effective.

…..I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget that one again!


2 responses to “Spine Twisting: #26 for a reason!

  1. Patty b

    Sorry to hear you had to deal with that Jessica. Lou used to have the occasional back outage but has been able to avoid it for many years now. Take care of yourself.

  2. Ouchie-pouchie, that sure sounds miserable! I’m sorry!

    Does heat help? When I have painfully tense muscles in my back, I lay on a heating pad in savasana to go to sleep. I made a wheat filled heating back, so it is relatively flat. You heat it up in the microwave for a couple of minutes.

    Also, have you considered a nail bed mat? I hear from other yoga folks that it works wonders to un-kink an aching back. I think it has to do with making the muscles relax as you are laying on it. They’re only 25 bucks or so on Amazon.

    Hope you feel better real soon!

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