Yoga has become such a part of my life that I’ve missed it dearly for the past 4 months. One month because I really couldn’t do it with my old hip joint. 3 months because my surgeon restricted my range of motion so I wouldn’t dislocate the new hip gadgetry. He’d said I could resume yoga after 6 months if the x-ray showed my leg bone had grown in enough around the metal rod. Being the impatient exercise junky that I am, I emailed him – please could I start yoga and Pilates, NOW?
He wrote back yes, provided I don’t do anything that hurts or feels like it might dislocate the gadgetry. (Gadgetry is my word, not his.)
Yay! I went to yoga last Sunday. I told the teacher. I’m not supposed to bring my thighs near my chest or cross my legs above the ankle. Other than that, I can do yoga. Child’s pose is out! Most twisted poses are out. But I could do triangle and camel, and standing poses, and plank poses. My teacher is trained in Iyengar Yoga and knows how to modify everything, use props, and make yoga possible.
Class starts with princess-on-the pea (not the yoga name). Every body sits on a stack of blankets high enough that the knees are no higher than the pelvis, with the ankles crossed. Before surgery, I needed 4 or 5 blankets for my left leg, and the right knee drooped. This time, 3 blankets were enough and both knees were level.
Everything I’ve tried to do since the surgery has shown me how weak my left leg and hip are compared to the right. But this time, both legs were equal. This was something that the surgery had improved without my having to work at it. Yay! Of course my elation was short lived as the teacher talked us through the small muscles movements that fine-tune the pose. But that’s just work – possible work – not my hip refusing to even try.
Everybody else tried revolved triangle. I did regular triangle. I didn’t fall. I didn’t bend to the side as far as I used to, but that’s not the point. I got the stretch. I got the balance work. I got that yoga feeling. http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/494 – regular triangle
http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/692 – revolved triangle
We did chaturanga, which starts as a front plank and lowers to a frozen mid-way pushup. That’s a pose that doesn’t challenge my hip at all. This time it was my shoulder that grouched. 4 months of not doing it, took its toll. But I can get back to it. I can have my life back.
http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/469 – chaturanga dandasana
We did camel, which is a kneeling backbend in which the full pose has the person place hands on the ankles while keeping the thighs vertical, showed me that my hip flexors (both, not just the left) are stiff. I needed blocks up-ended beside my ankles. Again – so what? I got the stretch. I got the feeling that I go to yoga class to get. http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/688 – camel pose
Yay for yoga!