Archive for March, 2016

Bhekasana plateau

March 31, 2016

I posted the following words on FB and it generated a lot more reaction than I was expecting.

I’m bored with Bhekasana, I’ve been stuck at this stupid asana for 4 years, maybe I should save £20 and stay in bed on sundays !

It’s taken a lot of work to get back to where I was pre fracture, pre surgery, pre rehab, then last years little Op, but since last September time or there abouts I’ve been able to do my given practice through to Bhekasana, binding the binds again on my own and having the stamina.

During all the rehab practice had a purpose, I could literally see and feel what it was doing for me mentally as well as physically. I kind of hoped or expected practice to start moving along again, but it hasn’t, it’s become more of a mental challenge to do it now than physically to plod through.

I do Bhekasana and think “is that it”, if Bhekasana is to be my lifetime Ashtanga plateau it’s a bit of a crap one. Practice has ceased to have it’s feelings of challenge, satisfaction or fun that it had in the past when L was adding postures on when I was just getting the hang of the previous one.

Yes I know it’s not about collecting asanas, but practice has lost it’s purpose, a reason to work at it, I finish and it’s like “that’s done”. It’s on the daily to do list, no longer because I want and look forward to doing it, but because at nearly 52, it feels like something I need to do to maintain the creaking system. I don’t want it to be like that.

Not that I want to stop practising, but more what’s the point of Shala practice when I’m feeling like I’ve stopped progressing and don’t get anything out of it apart from a leg occasionally held up in UHP, a squash in Paschimot if someone’s passing and an assist with the aforementioned Bhekasana before backbends and heading for the closing room. I can do it without really having to make the physical and mental effort it used to need, I can feel I have energy left. Its like I’m no longer working towards anything and I’m pretty much left alone because I can do everything I’ve been given. Perhaps they think I’ve gone as far as I’m going, which is fine, I have absolute respect for L, H and everyone else who has taught me, but if that’s the case maybe I would be better off ditching the travel stress on Sundays and just ploughing through at home.


Trapped nerve

March 27, 2016

In Bali the niggling sciatic thing in the left corner started to come back, but practising in that heat it was just annoying. Back home in the no where near as warm it got worse. At AYL with heat and help it was ok, especially when backbends were followed by a Louise super squash to put everything back.

Then a weird thing happened one day a few weeks ago when I was practising home alone, I stood up from a dropback (from a block) and I had no feeling or control of my left leg, it felt like the leg wasn’t in the hip socket, acetabulum , I couldn’t stand on it. After a few minutes the feeling came back, but since then the hip keeps locking or feeling like there’s a delay when I ask my left leg to follow the right.

I figured it’s all joined up on the left side of my lower back, Pelvis and hip, so rather than the usual massage therapy I went back to Liz the physiotherapist who treated my shoulder after the surgery. She is usually a sports team physio, so I knew she would be sympathetic to an injury caused by activity and unless it was something drastic would most likely tell me to keep doing practice.

After quite a long prodding and hip movement examination, apparently I have amazingly open, problem free hip joints, she found the root of the problem buried somewhere deep around the pesky Piriformis, Gleut area, a bit of trapped nerve, and the muscles surrounding it going solid around it.

Although the injury is the nerve being squashed, she diagnosed the root cause is still my left shoulder and the way I compensate and still subconsciously protect it during practice. I thought my arms range of motion was pretty good now, but Liz had me do a couple of movements that graphically showed just how much less range the left has compared to the right. This comes out in postures like Urdva Dhanurasana where the left arm isn’t quite under the shoulder and as I walk my hands in I tweak something in my Pelvis, do this movement 36 times a week with UD’s and dropbacks and something has to give.

So what’s the answer? Well initially it was a lot of her thumbs and elbows painfully digging in, but unlike massage where you lay there Liz had me moving against her pressure to try and free the tension. Part 2 are some exercises, movements that aren’t part of practice, a deep cross legged seated side stretch. ( I automatically sat in Lotus without thinking, Liz said “I wish I could do that! ) and a chair exercise where you bend forward in half lotus. She is going to work on the left shoulder and Lats on the left side, which should help the lower back issues in the long term.

She told me to do the exercises, keep getting on my mat, movement being much better and also use the roller and my yoga wheel.


Practice is as good as it’s been since last years operation, everything binds and I have the stamina and energy back, I’m no longer completely wrecked and I’ve added Angela’s sitting practice back in when I have time.