Archive for June, 2013

Yellow is back

June 19, 2013

Off the mat, its back to the Physiotherapist. I’ve been doing my physio exercises every day, sometimes during practice and sometimes on their own, but every day, at least twice a day. She was pleased with my progress, I can move my arm outwards to some extent now and vertically about 10 degrees above shoulder level. I asked her about the burning sensation I’ve been getting, I thought this was good, but apparently burning is bad, it means the nerves are getting pissed off and I’m doing too much, I’m just too diligent!

She is pleased I’ve started to return to the Shala, I got the impression many of her patients do little exercise, she says that anything that helps me get back to where I was can only be good. She measured how far I can get my arm behind my back, although I can’t get it very far up my back, I can get it round the other side of my waist, as if binding a half lotus posture. Despite my injured state and much to her surprise I could get my arm further round than she could get her fully functioning arm!


Although I have more range of motion I have absolutely zero strength, so today she gave me a new yellow stretchy band to start to work the muscles in the upper arm. So basically I’m back to where I was on the 30th January when she first gave me a yellow band. But I’ve got lots of new exercises to do, but hopefully without going for the burn!

All this is good progress, however I’m still a very long way from normality and the company have finally decided they can wait no longer for my arm to be able to do what it did and have terminated my contract, so I’m looking for a new job that I am physically able to do.


Crawling progress

June 17, 2013

AYL was quiet, lots of space, then suddenly 30 minutes later it was packed Louise was calling “one more” every once in a while. A sweaty practice in my usual spot by the window. My fingers are reaching further down my leg in Trikonasana, they have to crawl down, they can’t reach initially. More random assists this week, the first week it was forward bends, last week it was twists. This week I got helped with Trikonasana and UHP in standing. Prasarita A I can almost get my hand down, C I’m getting quite a way over, gravity helps, though Prasarita D my fingers can only crawl half way along my left foot. At least I remembered Utkatasana this week 🙂

I think my shoulder was a bit looser having had massage during the week, there is nothing like a bit of thumbs on intervention for separating the tissue and freeing everything up.

Seated help came in Paschimottanasana , Janu A, Tiriang Mukha and Baddha Konasana B. still no Bhujapidasana – Kurmasana section or bum balances. Pasasana again is just a deep squat and twist, Salabhasana A and B, though B is a bit tilted on to the right side. I get away with a Ustrasana in lieu of anything deeper, Urdva Dhanurasana is impossible, so a bridge will have to suffice, though I’ve moved on to trying to get the hands back in the right position, even if I’m not lifting up fully. The temptation to push up is there, but until I can actually raise my arm vertically and have some muscle back it’s not going to happen. As Kino says keep sending the message, one day….

Practice done the arm aches, so it has to go back in the sling and just hang out, but that annoys my neck and shoulders, it’s a never ending cycle, eventually it will annoy me too much and the massage therapist has to be called, just a pity that’s not on the NHS like the physiotherapy is.


Just as I was leaving Louise called me back to check on how my arm is putting up with practice and to point out the blackboard in the finishing room, next Sunday is Moon day, she looks after her Sunday students. Well that saved a train trip I would of made, as I hadn’t spotted the notice. I’ve never yet managed to turn up on a Moon day, that would have been a first.

Back to the physiotherapist this week, my arm is aching with the thought.

Half a Prayer

June 9, 2013

Back to the Shala this morning, after plodding through at home in the week it’s easier to see the tiny increments of improvement in the warmth and get some help. Half a prayer in Surya A this week, well I can now lift the left arm up so my hands are about nose level at least and a one arm downward dog to stretch the back of the legs out.

Louise gave me different assists this week, working out how she can best help me without pushing me too far. Help in Parsvakonasana A and B, flattening my foot and twisting me round, making me use the Bandhas to lift the torso out of the leg. Left alone in the Prasarita’s though my left fingers can now touch my left foot in D, last Sunday my fingers barely reached my shin 🙂

A super UHP assist, there was a time when I didn’t like the assist, but now it would be impossible without help on the second side, I can’t reach my toe and certainly don’t have the strength to hold my foot up. Writing this I realise I forgot Utkatasana , oh well always next week….

Paschimottanasana complete squashing this week, last week Louise held back but this week a full squash. I’ve developed a hybrid vinyasa to do between postures, crossing the feet lifting them, before stepping back in to the one arm DD and step forward. In the Shala heat I could bind Ardha Badhha and Mari A and B on the first sides, it seemed to be a day for twist assists as L adjusted Mari C. No Badha Konasana help this week, nose not quite on the floor. Upavistha is like Prasarita D I can’t quite reach the toes, but at least I can reach the foot.

A deep squat and twist for Pasasana, I’m sure all these long squats should make fully bound Pasasana much easier when my arm can get round my knee. Salabhasana A is the one posture that feels exactly like before, it’s also good for my shoulder blades. Bridges instead of Urdva Dhanurasana and some nice cross arm hang backs.

Closing still has many limitations, Sirsasana, Uth Plutihi, but today I found I can do Sarvangasana and Halasana, but not Karnapidasana, so that’s two more asanas on the way back. It’s only in the sweaty Shala environment that I can really measure, I can do most of what doesn’t need an awkward arm rotation or pulling, but nothing weight bearing in my arms.

I think it won’t be long before I reach the plateau, even with Louise’s help of what’s possible, then it’s going to take a while to get the strength and range of motion to do the rest.

Back in my favourite spot

June 2, 2013

Think this is going to come to soon.

This morning for the first time in over two months and 7 weeks since the surgery I went back to practice at AYL. It had been so long I had to ask J what the door code was! Unrolled my mat in my favourite spot in the corner by the window, sun streaming in. Louise asking about my range of motion and strength, some and zero, then telling me not to go anywhere near as far as I may be tempted by the energy and heat of the Shala.

Surya’s are a faff, but the Shala being pretty cosy already it’s not so much of an issue warming up. Standing has quite a few limitations such as not being able to lift the left arm or reach anywhere near my toe in Trikonasana, though I can go quite a way in Prasarita C without feeling it in the pesky Subscapularis. Louise arrived for the UHP balance, very stable with her there, no danger of toppling over. Super squash in Paschimottanasana, that’s so nice finding length again. Apart from Purvottanasana I can do everything up to the second side of Mari A, though its a vinyasa free practice for now. Mari C it’s the first side I can’t do and a twist has to suffice for Mari D. The Pelvis graft has settled down so Navasana is doable. I have to miss out the next section before getting back with the program at Baddha Konasana, yay Louise taking her time adding the pressure until my nose was on the mat. No bum balances and a it of a lopsided UHP and a lame Setu Bandhasana.

Louise lets me do what I need to , so it’s some squatting and twisting but a no binding Pasasana, Salabhasana is there, though B is not so good without being able to use the arm. I could barely do Bhekasana before and now i cant even reach my foot, so no point worrying about that one for a while. Ustrasana before some hang backs, L leaving me alone to play before I head for the Finishing Room. Closing is a mish mash, all that stuff on the shoulders is a bit difficult just now and as for Sirsasana or Uth Plutihi………… There is still a long way to go to get anywhere approaching what passes for normal practice, but unlike the last time I went to the Shala I am at least going in the right direction.

It was so good to be back in that room followed by the usual croissant breakfast.

Usually that would then be time to head home, but not today, a long breakfast then lunch before heading to Mel and Emil’s sunny Tottenham garden for the new yoga philosophy discussion group, this was the first meeting to see how it would work out. Mel knows her subject, an interesting discussion about the meaning of the opening Mantra and how it leads us from normality to being concentrated on our mats.

I think 2013 may be improving at last 🙂