My chronic lower back pain has been bothering me more than usual lately. My lack of yoga over the holidays combined with a few extra pounds are surely the culprits. I’m now back at my yoga full gung-ho but the back pain is putting a damper on my bikram practice.
Looking for alternative relief, I decided to give acupuncture a try for the very first time. I rang up a local studio and today was my first appointment.
I met with the acupuncturist briefly to give her a run down of what ails me and then it was needle time. Fortunately, the needles didn’t hurt as she placed them strategically around my body. I did feel one small prick on my foot but that was it. I relaxed on a recliner as she expertly placed needles in both my hands, both feet, the inside of both knees and about six on the crown of my head. Once she was done she quietly whispered “have a good dream”.
I was positive I wouldn’t be able to nap with all of these needles sticking out of me. I glanced at my watch and noted it was exactly 5:30pm. The acupuncturist had advised me it was common to nap and relax for 45 minutes to an hour per visit but as it was my first time she suggested I try to hang out for at least 20 minutes.
So I dutifully closed my eyes and challenged myself to relax for 20 minutes. What occurred next was quite literally the trippiest thing that’s ever happened to me minus any type of alcohol or other mood enhancer.
As I relaxed I began to feel as if I was floating above the recliner. I think I laughed at one point. Then I saw an amazing palette of the most vivid colors flashing behind my closed eyes. I’m sure at some point I was sleeping but it felt like I was in and out of this dream state. When I opened my eyes I looked at my watch and it was 6:10pm. It felt like 5 minutes.
As I left I was a little groggy but by the time I arrived home I was feeling quite refreshed. As I bent over to take off my shoes I was amazed to find no back pain whatsoever!
Needless to say, I’m going to stick with the acupuncture treatments.
Last night I experienced my first “silent” Bikram class. There were just a handful of students in class and as our teacher entered she told us that we were all experienced yogis and tonight we would mix things up and have a silent class. She rolled out her matt beside us and we began. We worked our way silently through all 26 postures, following her lead.
It was a cool experience, another thing to check off on my yoga bucket list. One funny little thing did happen. The guy next to me, as we lowered ourselves into triangle pose, let out a very noticble fart into the silent air. We had a little chuckle and continued on in silence. So much for wind removing pose!
It’s kind of anti-climatic but I stayed the same this week, no change. I’m still happy with my progress, having lost 7 pounds overall.
Monday 6am class
As tough as yesterday was today was the diametric opposite. The myriad aches and pains from yesterday were mysteriously subdued. I have no explanation other than the power of the yoga. Class was kind of a blur, it went by quickly and I kept waiting for my body to begin its protestations but was relieved when they never arose. 4 more days!
Sunday, 8am class
My body is broken. As I lay on my mat after class I do a check list of what hurts.
Left shoulder -feels like my rotator cuff, it woke me up last night, a constant dull throbbing that escalates to a sharp pain if I move it the wrong way.
Right lower shoulder blade- this one is new, it happened sometime during class today, yay!
Thumbs- yes my thumbs ache, “hands overhead, release the fingers, interlock the thumps”. After 25 days my thumps feel tortured.
Knees- feeling old and sore.
Lower back- my albatross has reared its ugly head during the challenge- my biggest fear going into the challenge, it’s screaming for a day off.
So here I am, lying on my mat, broken. I’m not sure how long I lay here, enveloped in my pain. When I open my eyes I’m the last one left. My body is worn out, worn down, it’s had enough. With only 5 days to go I have to pull it together. There is no way I’m quiting now. I have to make it through this, somehow..
Friday, 6am class
This was a tough class mentally as I had a hard time staying focused on the yoga. My mind kept wandering, thinking about work stuff. It was especially hard to stay present during the floor series. I was happy to finally hit the shower after class. Some classes fly by, some not so much. This class definitely falls into the latter.
Saturday, 8am class
Focus is back, felt good mentally and physically. The biggest thought on my mind is I have 6 days left in the challenge! I can’t wait for a day off!!