Archive for May, 2014

Mari D and Sirsasana coming.

May 26, 2014

Practice at home is still some hit and a lot of miss, I need the heat and help. the NHS physio said she’s done what she can, I can do the exercises, but I can’t do the mobilisation and pressure myself, it’s maddening that they stop the treatment just as I’m starting to get somewhere, but volume of new patients and 15 months of treatment, presume I’ve had my quota . Hopefully the last of the non dissolving escaping internal stitches were removed last week by the very Jolly Hockey Sticks Nurse. I knew it was a stitch, she said it was a piece of skin, then she points a spotlight and magnifier at it and agrees I was right, as she pulled out another 3 inches of thread!

A Monday instead of Sunday trip to AYL this week. Busier on a week day even if it is a holiday here, I had to start in the Finishing Room, but was only on my 3rd A when my “one more” call came, perfect timing as Emma started assisting, she knows what needs help with.

Soon saturated, a full Shala is a warm Shala, just as I like it. E giving me a super Prasarita C adjustment, really helps stretch out my shoulder before all the seated binds. A PPC assist is certainly cheaper than private physiotherapy!

Seated are pretty good after such a short time, a proper Mari D bind on my own today, the heat and the Mari A assist made it feel easy. A technical hitch as I got stuck in Bhuja, if the weight is only slightly in the wrong place my arm can’t help get me back up. I thought Supta K would be possible, but I never got a chance to experiment as Hamish came and knotted me up.

Garbha has been more miss than hit since I restarted, I can get my arms through, especially at AYL, sometimes I can start to rotate, sometimes I can’t rotate, but quite often I rotate but the circle is more like an elipse that goes outside the confines of my mat, at home that means crashing in to the bed, so when I got to Garbha and noticed Lauren next to me starting her dropbacks I was a bit worried she would either land on me or I would knock her off as I went round. I ended up going round to “6” as she dropped back, waited for her to rock and stand up, then managed to restart and get back round to “12”.

Fingers overlapping but not quite joining in Pasasana, able to hold both feet in Bhekasana, not for long but it’s a start. Urdva Dhanurasana is starting, I can get off the ground, but I can’t straighten the arm and push the weight forward. It’s better if I jam my hands against the wall, I can push up and start to move the chest towards the wall, it’s heading the right way.

I only managed one hang back before Hamish came over, three lovely assisted dropbacks, though at the moment I’m hardly doing any of the work on the way down, fingers graze the floor then back up, up feels good.

On Friday I managed to do Sirsasna at the local Shala, though it took two goes, the first one I couldn’t hold it, went over the top and just missed Jo’s head! AYL finishing room was full after I took the last spot by the window, when I got to Sirsasana someone had gone for the horizontal spot at the end of my mat, so I was worried about landing on them if it went wrong, luckily after a bit of a wobble I managed to stay up, Sirsasna is a long way from 25 breaths, more like 8 before my shoulder has had enough.

Uth Plutihi is up to about 5 seconds, but that’s 5 seconds longer than last week. Strength is still very lacking, decent stamina lasts until about Mari B, but that was only my 5th practice where I’ve done all the vinyasas, so 6 and a bit weeks post surgery progress is good.


What a difference a year makes.

May 18, 2014

Last year it was early June, 7 weeks after surgery that I returned to AYL, practice was a faff of modifications and can’t do’s and it was the beginning of a long slog back to anything approaching the practice I had. By this March I was doing most of it again, before it was time for another operation.

Today I went back to AYL, just 6 weeks after surgery to remove the metal and clean out last years scar tissue. There was no comparison with last year. 4th Surya A I saw the red toe nails as Louise squashed me in downward dog, pushing the weight out of my arms into my legs, her full weight pressing my back. Standing is pretty much back, Trikonasana B Emma was able to move my left arm around at will, the arm is loose in its socket, it just feels like I don’t have control of it. Prasarita C wow to get that assist again! more and more pressure, that posture gives my shoulder the deep stretch only the physiotherapist can usually do, as I came up Louise asked if it was ok, hell yes!

The heat in there does make such a difference, I’d managed to bind Mari D on the first side on my own before help arrived to improve the bind and deepen the twist, I knew Supta K stood a good chance, assisted into fully bound one. Even Garbha properly knotted up and 360 spin, amazing. And I thought I was going to be starting another 9 month slog to get anything like my practice back.

Pasasana almost,it’s just a matter of time and not too many croissants before that gets bound again. The big surprise was Bhekasana, my last official pose. My left arm can take the position and hold the foot and with help from the right can keep it pushing down. I did the left, then the right foot, thinking that would do for today, but help had crept up from behind as I felt the right foot being pushed, so I flicked the left back up and made a grab for the foot, amazingly getting the left hand in the right place and pushed as I felt my shoulders being gently lifted up.

Bhekasana is the one good thing to come out of the fractured Humerus saga, Louise had given it me 3 months before the accident, my right arm and hand worked it out, but the left just couldn’t get it. Losing all the muscle and movement in the left arm meant it had to relearn everything and suddenly it had the ability to point the elbow upwards and press the foot down, the arm muscles learning to do it without its previous tensions. Second time around it can again take the position, but the muscle needs building up again to push the foot down. Every cloud and all that.

Urdva Dhanurasana is where things fall apart, unlike last year my hand can easily take it’s place by my ear, but the shoulder doesn’t have the strength or stability to get me off the ground, with my hands jammed against the skirting board I just about lifted. I figured I would try some hang backs as the 2S backbends had opened things up, some nice floor in view hanging. Then L appears as I come back up and we go in to three half ways with arms stretched back,then a final to the floor, she just let my hands graze the floor before pinging me back up, that’s soooo much fun 🙂 and something I didn’t expect to do on day one.

So a year later it’s all looking very different, still a way to go with strength and stamina, but at this rate with Shala heat and help everything looks much more promising.

Mostly there with a few mods

May 16, 2014

I thought dipping my toes back in the Shala water on a Friday morning would mean a quiet room where I could just see what’s what. The usual 6-8 has grown to 16 of us and on a warm sunny day that helps get the temperature up, which I like.

My back on the left side is still tight and grumpy, the one sided physiotherapy has upset the equilibrium, the first few Surya’s are a painful trial. C knows the score with my recent surgery so mostly left me to plod through, it’s all much slower than I’m used to with a tight back and not there yet shoulder, having to think about each posture detracts from the flow. The first stumbling block is Parsvottanasana, reverse prayer is a pipe dream just now, so it’s just cross arms behind.

Seated have a a hybrid vinyasa between sides and poses, a kind of a step jump thing, but it keeps the momentum. All good and bound both sides through to Mari C, I have found a way to cheat at binding D, get my left arm around as far as it will go, sit down on a block, post the right arm round the back and make a grab for the left fingers, it works, but only if I grab on the first go, but I suppose doing any kind of bound Mari D after 5 weeks is a bonus.

The first adjustment test of my arm came in Supta K, Kurmasana is ok, I had crossed my feet and was trying to crawl my fingers together along a strap, but help arrived, C carefully moving my left arm further round, with her knees pushing everything together the fingers bound easily, woo hoo, now I know it’s possible without any pain I will try and go deeper on my own. Even getting in to Garbha Pindasana is possible, I just seem to have lost the ability to rotate, but hopefully that will return. Need to crack that one again in case I do go to Mysore later in the year. Rest of seated already look roughly like they should which is bloody amazing.

My bit of second is almost back, Pasasana I couldn’t quite bind, but it’s not far away, Krounchasana still kills my right hamstring, Bhekasana my left arm will still hold the foot in place but lacks the strength to keep a hold, let alone push down.

A cheat Urdva Dhanurasana, two of the toy cupboards brick shaped blocks against the wall, at least they let me get off the ground, but I can’t stay up, it’s like I don’t actually have control of the shoulder. The teacher noted in Paschimottanasana that my right shoulder is now much tighter than the left.

Sirsasana is the last stumbling block, though Cathy did manage to assist me to a point of balance, but it’s a bit too much just yet. No I didn’t even try Utlutihi before you ask!

So now at least I’ve done a full(ish) practice, with a couple of modifications, but it’s all a lot better much sooner than expected. I know it’s definitely worth going back home to AYL on Sunday, I think Louise is going to be very surprised at just how much I can do.

Another slight stitch hiccup, I’ve found another rogue internal non dissolving stitch making a bid for freedom, I thought it was just a bit if skin, but when I pulled it it turned into a couple of inches of nylon, so it’s back to the Nurse on Monday, I just hope it’s not infected again.

Coming out of hibernation

May 13, 2014

This week I’m coming out of my enforced post surgery Shala hibernation. I was going to come out last week, but I got an infection from the non dissolving internal stitch and have been on antibiotics, which have upset my guts and made me nauseous.

Practice is at a point where it’s now worth taking my black mat and yogi toes out to play in Shala land again. I can do everything up to Mari C, D would be possible with help, which has come as a surprise considering how many months it took last year after the first operation. Supta K was an even bigger surprise, I gently lowered in to Kurmasana to see if my left arm could stand the pressure, that was fine so I crossed my feet, still ok, so I tried to join my fingers, but couldn’t quite, slightly inhibited by jogging bottoms and T-shirt, shorts and sweat and a bit of help on the first one should do it.

My hand and arm have no problem 4 weeks after the op taking the position for Urdva Dhanurasana , the problem is my shoulder lacks the strength and stability to push up. Backbend frustration led me to hanging back and walking my hands down the wall on to the bolster, I expected the arm to collapse on landing, but no, I could stay in a backbend with straight arms and rock quite comfortably to the point that I shocked myself by standing up without having to walk my hands back up the wall! That took 9 months last time. So things are looking good so far. Stamina is what is lacking, why does that disappear so fast.

So to test the water I’m heading for the local Shala on Friday, it has a well stocked toy cupboard and I should be able to hide in the corner with half the contents of the cupboard and just see what’s what. Not to mention Jo’s yoga birthday cake party after practice.

Sunday will be the big day as I walk through the door of AYL, heat glorious heat, the energy of my Shala mates and Louise keeping a lid on my enthusiasm or as Suzanne put it stopping me doing anything too nutty!

Can’t wait to walk back through that door.

Little by little

May 4, 2014

Practice is coming out of it’s enforced hibernation, not every day as I seemed to have had one medical appointment after another. The physiotherapist wants me to concentrate on mobilising and stretching the arm/shoulder and not worry about getting the strength back. Lots of exercises I can do at home, her mobilisation, pressure and massage really help, but this being the NHS I now only get to see her every few weeks for 20mins, it really feels like it needs the physical therapy more often to keep the release. She also spotted a renegade nylony stitch poking out, so I had to return to the Nurse as the itching was driving me mad. Turned out to be an internal stitch that should have dissolved, but instead made a bid for freedom out of the front arthroscopy hole. It took some getting out, a very sore pull as another 8 centimetres emerged, followed by another cleansing and dressing.

At the Philosophy group Mel taught me a “no hands” Surya, after I told her I was practising but finding it hard to warm up. So now I can get a little warm before I do the standing postures, which are actually pretty good, Prasarita C is actually great for stretching out the front of my shoulder. Seated are coming back, though it’s still a vinyasaless interval. I’ve been finger touching Mari A and B for a few days, but today the fingers not only touched but bound A, B and C, even if it didn’t last long. D will be a while on the first side, but the second side is doable. I missed out the Bhuja – Supta K section, my first Baddha Konasana in a while, it won’t be long before my nose grounds, with help it would be there no problem.

Last year it took months to get anywhere near this stage again, I’m pleasantly surprised , but then again I was in a sling 24/7 for nearly two months, this time I’m in the sling as needs be, but I’m moving from the start and my practice wasn’t too bad before the surgery. I can even balance in Upavistha and the bum balances, my arm can just about reach my feet and hold on.

After the surprise in Mari C I wondered how much of Pasasana I had lost, wow finger touch on the first side and second side I can’t quite get the left arm far enough round, but it’s not miles away. The weird thing again like last year is that my hand can turn over and hold the foot in Bhekasana, it needs assistance from the right hand pushing the foot down though.

More of closing is possible, my left hand will go flat on the floor by my head, though I’m a while from having the strength to try and push up in to UD. The shoulder stand sequence is ok, though I think Sirsasana won’t be possible for a while. But three weeks after surgery it’s all much better than expected. It’s strength and stamina I’ve lost, it’s amazing how soon that disappears, but I’ve got it back twice before in the last 3 years, so I should be able to do it again.

My 18th May back to AYL plan is looking good. I spoke to L last week, she said I can come and just do standing if I want, but I want to be able to do a more meaningful practice to justify the train fare etc, though it was nice to walk back through the door so soon. The croissants were great!