Archive for July, 2013

Half Supta K

July 28, 2013

I thought I was never going to get to yoga this morning, the first two trains were cancelled, third one was late, but finally on my mat by 8:50am in my spot by the window.

Progress again today, Surya A Louise spotted I was actually managing to stay for more than 2 nano seconds in Downward Dog and came to assist, not the usual push into the back from the front but gently pulling the Pelvis from behind, getting the stretch and length without any danger of killing the shoulder.

Standing is pretty nearly back, still need to find another couple of inches for Padahastasana and Trikonasana toe grab, but everything happens up to Parsvottanasana where I still just hold my elbows instead of reverse prayer. Help in UHP made it possible to keep hold of my toe on the second side.

Everything depends on the angle of the arm, so I can (just about with help)toe grab UHP but then in Paschimottanasana I can only grab the side of my foot. All good up to Mari A 2nd side, though my arm is getting a bit further around my knee and I can join it up with a towel to cover the gap between the fingers. Same with all the Mari’s, D on the second side could do with some help, but I think should be doable again soon.

So at home in lieu of Supta K I’ve been doing yoga Nidrasana, so much fun doing LBH again, today in the sweaty Shala conditions, I decided to see how far I could get in to Supta Kurmasana and discovered I can now get the arms under again and cross my feet over my head, but my left arm only goes under the leg, I can’t turn it over to make it go round the back to bind, but at least it feels like its going to be possible again in the non too distant future.

Supta Konasana seems to be helping my arm lift higher, though I can’t keep hold of the toe as I come up and over. Another little win in Urdva Padangusthasana , the Pilates seems to have given me the core strength to hold my toes without really pulling on my arms.

So another week and more of the dots being joined up again, the stamina is starting to come back too, a semi vinyasa between sides and asanas, hopefully the more invasive physiotherapy will help get the rest back.

Led would still be impossible, so just as well Sharath is sold out, but the Kino Mysore in Copenhagen option is definitely practical now. I have a place if I want it.


Medical plateau

July 25, 2013

For all that practice is improving, the arms range of motion, or lack of, is what is still concerning me and the medics. It’s not like I haven’t been doing my part with all the physio, yoga, Pilates and massage, but I seem to have hit another plateau in the healing process. The arm just won’t lift vertically above 90 degrees or physically lift anything much heavier than a mug of tea.

The Registrar at Fracture Clinic is sending me for an Ultrasound scan to see if I have a frozen shoulder or if the problem is with the rotator cuff muscles, still got to wait another 3 weeks for that and then another few weeks for the result, after which they may do injections to try and free things up, eeek I didn’t think I’d be hearing the dreaded words “sharp scratch” again this year. In the mean time the Physiotherapist says I don’t have a frozen shoulder and that I’m progressing ok and that we knew all along that it was probably going to take (quite) a few months before anything approaching normality returns.

The Physio was on a mission this week, easily the most invasive and uncomfortable session I’ve had since the surgery, pressing her palm and thumbs in to the front of my shoulder to try and break down whatever it is that’s inhibiting my range of motion, 15 minutes of torture later and my arm can lift a little higher, but its another week until I get another session and I can’t push that hard myself to try and keep it free in the interim. She’s given me some new exercises and promoted me back to the red stretchy band, but it feels like I would need that kind of a session every few days to get some results.

After a session like that the shoulder almost seizes up, despite trying to keep it moving. The less it does, the less sore it is, but the more physio I do each day the more sore and seized it becomes later, it’s catch 22. Doing nothing isn’t really an option if I want my practice back, let alone get a new job.

The Consultant has now requested my presence at Clinic next week, so it will be interesting to see what he has to say.

Little by little

July 21, 2013


Little by little my practice is returning, though as Tanya said today there’s no rush, still nowhere near being able to do the fun stuff I really miss like Supta K and the backbends, but 4 postures made it back in to the starting line up today. Well 5 if you count the almost Surya A which lacks a Chaturanga and has a 4 second Downward dog. I haven’t added Surya B yet.

Standing my arm still needs to find a couple more inches to reach my toe and a foot or so to toe grab UHP, luckily help is usually not far away when it’s time for that one.

Seated are where 2 of the postures have become possible, Upavistha A, I still can’t quite reach my left toe, but Upavistha B I found i can balance and hold the toe, it all seems to depend what angle the arm is at. A nice squishing from Emma in Baddha Konasana, her technique is more rolling the pelvis forward to get the head down, rather than just squashing the forward bend. Urdva Paschimottanasana was the other surprise, I can hold both sides now I have a little bit more strength, though I can’t bring the legs far in.

The usual intermediate poses to Salabhasana B, then Ustrasana for a backbend, though I did get my hands in to the right place for Urdva Dhanurasana, I still can’t do much more than push up in to a high bridge. T just watched me play cross arm hang backs before the Paschimottanasana squash.

The other 2 refound postures came out of the teachers view in the closing room, I could do the shoulder stand sequence, but today I managed to add in Matsyasana and Utana Padasana, so that just leaves Sirsasana and Uth Plutihi in closing to return, but as T said no rush.

More Pilates & yoga tourism

July 20, 2013


Liver Building

Another great midweek one-two-one Pilates lesson, exercises to try and get more range of motion in the shoulder and some added challenge with core exercises, which may look simple, but which are surprisingly tiring after half a dozen goes. More homework to add to the yoga and physio, it’s a good job I’m not working with all the rehab I do now.

Popes Wigwam

Not having been further than London in the last 5 months I decided to take up Helen’s invitation to the Liverpool yoga social on Friday night, just nice to get away and be somewhere different. Thursday I spent 6 hours on the bus from London up to Liverpool, luckily my B&B was a 5 minute walk and I got room 108.

Room 108

Friday, on a scorching hot day I explored the city, I missed out The Beatles and instead took in the Popes wigwam, then the observation wheel to get some great views over the city. The Albert Dock, Liverpool Museum, but it was too nice to be inside, so a lot of wandering before lunch with H at the Egg Cafe.

Observation Wheel


Albert Dock

Actual yoga tourism began with Helen’s beginners Ashtanga class, an easy pick and mix primary, but very sweaty in this heat. Nice class, nothing to annoy my shoulder, first led I’ve done since the fracture, nice assists in PPC and Mari C.


The main reason to come up here was the Yoga social, lovely to see some familiar faces, blogger Ragdoll and Jen who I last saw in Mysore, wherever you go yogis seem to be a friendly welcoming bunch of people.


Eleanor Rigby

More coming

July 14, 2013

Well apart from watching the Greenpeace girls climbing The Shard this week I also restarted the 1-2-1 Pilates lessons, I am certainly in a better physical state than when I had my last lesson back in March before the surgery, which meant Emma could do more things with me than she expected. She worked mainly on the restriction in the front of my shoulder that is stopping me raising the arm using the Physio roller, which I can also do at home. Lots of inhaling and moving the arm in its socket while trying not to let the shoulder lift. She also has me doing core exercises using my wooden backbender. It’s all good though it aches afterwards.

AYL again despite the useless train company’s best effort to thwart the trip in to the city. As expected on the hottest day of the year I was soon dripping despite all my restrictions.

Ganesh, obstacle remover

All may not be coming yet, but more is, I can faff a Surya A by stepping back and dropping on my knees, updog is possible but still not Chaturanga and I can do a two second downward dog, but at least it’s a better way to get things moving. Standing is now not bad, i can almost touch my left toe in Trikonasana. Louise assisted PPC again, my arm much prefers lifting backwards, I don’t think the floor is far away.

Seated now have a faff vinyasa between sides and postures for as long as the arm will put up with it, ( up to Mari C), lots of stepping and using the knees, but at least I have movement and can realign the back. Lovely Baddha Konasana assist, Louise kind of moulds herself like a rucksack to your back as she uses her weight to push you down, but it felt really comfortable once I was down flat.

Busy again, but at least no waiting or starting in the Finishing Room.

A surprise on the second side of Krounchasana as I managed to take my right foot with both hands, another tiny success. Backbends are going to have to carry on being Salabhasana then Ustrasana , but the cross arm hang backs are bringing the mat tantalisingly in to view as my legs have got the descent back under control. Louise let’s me do what I can before giving me a mega Paschimottanasana squashing.

Closing is still just the Shoulderstand sequence. I need to experiment with Matsyasana and Utana P. Sirsasana is still impossible.

So more is slowly coming.

In the right place for Greenpeace

July 11, 2013

Dots climbing

By pure chance I was in London today when I received a text to say there was some kind of demonstration on The Shard, the highest building in Western Europe, by some Greenpeace ladies, who were trying to climb to the top. I was only 3 tube stops away so decided to take in the spectacle.


The Shard

Turned out from chatting to one of the Security guys that the 6 Greenpeace protesters had started the climb at 4:30am after evading security by starting off from the roof of the adjacent London Bridge station. As the security man said “shit will hit the fan” as this was a peaceful protest, but what if it had been more sinister?

The action was to protest against Shell’s oil exploration of the Arctic.


Can just make out the ropes around the opening
By the time I got there the 6 women had got a fair way up the 1000 plus feet on to a high ledge, you could clearly see the ropes still hanging off the sides and every so often a head would peak over the edge and give the crowd a wave. Much of the surrounding area was cordoned off by the Police and Security, the stations glass roof being too much of a danger if something or someone had dropped on it from 1000 feet above.

The TV and radio news crews were there and there were a couple of helicopters filming, I got asked my thoughts by Sky News, being filmed as I told them, “whatever you think of the protest, it takes some nerve and skill to climb a building like that”.

Sky news
At the bottom Greenpeace people were giving interviews and there was a huge white sheet they asked people to leave a message of support on.

Signing the sheet in support
By the time I got home two of the women were making the climb to the top, they had planned to put up some kind of art work, but with darkness and safety in mind they unfurled a flag at the top before they were all arrested.

BBC picture

Sun in Prasarita C

July 7, 2013

The weather and practice seem to be improving, though no good news on the job front.

Sunny morning outside the Shala, an oven inside

Summer is here at last and the Shala was already full when I got there this morning, luckily some of the early birds were already on backbends, so I didn’t have to wait long for a spot, thanks Ben. I got the spot right in front of where Louise hangs out with her Assistant, so as well as heat and sweat from the start I also got plenty of help.

The walls were sweating!

The arm is gaining strength, the big problem is still range of motion, so although I can push up into Purvottanasana quite easily now I still can’t do a Downward dog because of the angle the arm needs to be at. I still can’t lift the arm much over chest height in the Asana environment . Some of the range of motion is surprising, Prasarita C is very doable now, though until today Louise hasn’t assisted it, but today she saw me taking extra breaths getting my arms further over and she decided to very gently give me a hand, that’s the first PPC assist since December! But being able to have that adjustment shows I am making some progress and not stuck on my plateau and the weirdest thing is since the surgery PPC now feels more open and less stress, though I still can’t touch down.


Sunny Green Park

Seated are coming back slowly, though still one sided like the Marichyasana’s, which I am back to binding when it’s the right arm going round the knee. Poses like the Janu’s and Tiriang Mukha it’s a right arm toe grab only, but at least the stretch is back in the legs. I can now get my arms and legs in to the start of Bhujapidasana though not lifting or crossing the feet.

I can finger touch the first side of Pasasana again, all the squatting is helping to give me the stability, one handed Krounchasana, Salabhasana A and B are back to normal, not tried Bhekasana yet. Ustrasana still has to suffice for a backbend, though I’ve now added in the start of Urdva Dhanurasana , ie feet and hands in position but only the legs and back go up, the arms press the ground but make no attempt to push up. Hanging backbends are good, I have to resist the temptation to plop down, the control is back in my legs, I think a one handed landing could be a bit iffy! At least Louise gave me a nice Paschimottanasana squash before I gave up my space to the next person waiting. People were starting their practice in the finishing room, it was so busy today.

Cloudy St Pancras!

After breakfast and catching the sun in Green Park it was off to 7 Sisters for the Philosophy discussion group at MC’s, we did the closing chant this week, really interesting discussion. Just glad Moon day wasn’t today instead of tomorrow, otherwise I would have missed a lovely sweaty practice and a nice afternoon.

Happy Moon day, though glad it wasn’t today.

Just need a job of some kind now, but nothing much doing in the sticks, I did actually have an interview during the week, but haven’t heard anything, so back to the drawing board.