Saturday, November 28, 2009

Yoga Class Without Restrictions

Monday's x-ray showed my collar bone is healed. Jock Doc said I can now do anything I'd have done if the accident had never happened. Yoga class was relatively tame. No backbends, no hand stands. But we did shoulder stands and head stands and supported plow.

I've been standing on my head since I was five. I still have the balance. But I don't have the strength in my left arm and shoulder. I put as much weight as possible on my arms to avoid hurting my neck. I lasted about a minute, before my left arm felt weak and my balance began to wobble. I lowered myself to child's pose. The rest of the class stayed upside down for at least 3 minutes. My arm has lost a lot of strength in 5 months of restricted use.

Shoulder stand was okay. My shoulders can take the weight. It was work, but not painful, and my balance was not threatened.

Supported plow (we used a chair to support our legs)puts weight onto the shoulders at a different angle. I had to exit that pose early too.

Since I was not in the more difficult poses, concentrating on my body, focusing my mind, I listened to what the other students were saying to the teacher. At least three other students were recovering from surgery and needed modifications to the poses. Other students have arthritis. Iyengar yoga is yoga for people who don't have yoga bodies. I was feeling like a weakling, but so what? At least I'm there and I'm working on my body.

I'm the oldest student in the class, but the rules are the same for everybody. Do what you can. Use props and supports. Modify the poses. Get the stretch and strengthen the muscles.

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