Sunday, July 4, 2010

More Muscles I Didn’t Know I Had in Yoga

I got the screws out of my collar bone a month ago.  My shoulder is still sore, but with careful positioning of the straps, I was able to wear my backpack (school book bag) on a trip to California to visit my grandchildren.  I don’t check luggage. If it won’t fit into my back pack, it doesn’t come. That includes exercise equipment and magic tricks.

I can now rotate my arms to turn my palms upwards.  My left shoulder (which had the screws and plates) has greater range of motion.  The surgeon told me I can do anything that doesn’t hurt.  He also said it will be a year until I feel normal.  I’m supposed to avoid falling for a year because the bones are weak where the holes are.

Last year, when my yoga class when through the cycle of teaching the hand stand, my arm was in a sling.  I couldn’t even try a modification.  This year, I asked, “Where do I start?”

The teacher had me put my hands between her feet (which were about 18 inches apart), lift one leg and push off with the other. She guided my feet to the wall, and held me up.  “I can’t do this!” I shouted. My left shoulder screamed and felt like it would give out. I was afraid of falling – not just because I’d hit my head, but because I could break that collar bone again and have to start over! “I can’t do this!” I repeated. “Please help me down!”

It was probably just seconds, but it felt like an eternity. “Please help me down! I can’t do this!”  Everybody else in the class could do it.  Even the women who can’t stand on their heads. Finally, I felt my teacher lower my feet to the floor.  “I had surgery on my shoulder last month.”

“Oh,” she said. “I didn’t know.”

It can’t be that hard.  All the other women in class could do it. Okay, so I’m older than they are – this pose must call for muscles I haven’t used in over a year.  I need to find the exercises that will strengthen those muscles before I try it again.

I can do anything that doesn’t hurt.  That’s the rule. That’s the guideline for the rest of my life.  Now to convince the cars on the road not to hurt me!

As an aside – I get bragging rights.  When I was sitting in the airport, a man across from me in the waiting lounge was regaling other passengers with the story of how he broke his collar bone when his bike slipped on some wet leaves.  I kept my mouth shut, but I felt like I deserved bragging rights.  It took a 2-ton car to break my collar bone! 


  1. Don’t know about you, but I absolutely can never remember either my age or my injuries when I am trying anything physical. My mind just does not think my body has any limitations. My body reminds me, but damn it, give me enough time and I will make it do … ;)

    Is Still Here

  2. Surviving Survival -- exactly! My mind still thinks I'm 18 and I can do anything if I just try often enough. Practice makes possible. Only sometimes now I need props as well as practice.