Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Wall is my Friend

In this blog, I write about my exercise program, most of which is successfully helping me recover my strength and balance after being hit by a car while biking.  It’s only fair that I report a set-back, too.

I usually do yoga standing poses against a wall. I’ve felt steady, and wobble-free for over a month now. So, I decided to try practicing standing poses in the middle of my living room. I rolled out my sticky mat. I got out my book and looked at the pictures and read the directions. I didn’t want any mistakes.  

I felt strong and coordinated.  Mountain was easy. So was standing with hands clasped, inverted, over head. So, was standing forward bend.  Then I decided to try triangle. I was careful to keep both sides of my trunk the same length as I leaned to the side. I pushed down on the four corners of both feet. I lost my balance.

It’s a short fall to the floor. My mat softened the fall. Nevertheless, I was in pain. A look in the mirror showed my hips markedly skewed to the right. And my cane was upstairs.

It took two days before I felt sturdy enough to walk to my chiropractor’s.  He said a disc between two of my vertebrae had slipped sideways.  He showed me exercises to help it slip back into place.  He also said a short fall like that only caused damage because my spine landed while twisted. He expects me to heal up quickly, since he knows I’ll do the exercises.

I’m getting there. And I don’t care how balanced I feel in the future. The wall is my friend. Or as my yoga teacher says, the wall is my guru. 

I’m also convinced that I need to spend more time doing Feldenkrais movements to strengthen and coordinate my muscles.  If I learn to coordinate the small movements, I should be able to detect when I’m losing my balance – long before I lose enough to fall over. And I shouldn’t forget to lean on my friend.

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