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Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Musings

Most of the time I still feel like I'm in my thirties, at least mentally speaking. My outlook on life continues to be one of excitedly anticipating new experiences and adventures in living. Now that I have completed school and my boys are mostly on their own, I am looking forward to the next phase of life. That is until last month when I had a physical set back that reminded me I am not in my thirties. I was bedridden for about a week or so because of problems with my lower back and sacrum. I have had chronic problems in my lower back since I was 16 and diagnosed with scoliosis. It's not severe but enough to warrant going to DO's, Chiropractors and massage therapists most of my life. It was for the most part, manageable, until five years ago when I fell down a flight of stairs and fractured my pelvis. This certainly didn't help!  As a result I often feel like a human barometer. When the weather changes, I feel it in my knee (have had surgery for sports injury) and in my lower back.  I don't like taking medication and had to take plenty last month due to severe (and excruciating) muscle spasms in my back. It was not a fun experience. 

While resting in bed and frankly, quite frustrated,  I started researching what I could do to take charge of this part of my life. I had tried traditional yoga on and off for the last five years, but found many of the postures difficult because of certain physical limitations.  While googling "therapeutic yoga" I stumbled across "Viniyoga".  There was a DVD available on Amazon that was designed to strengthen the sacrum and lower back.  Needless to say I quickly placed my order,  which arrived in a few days.   It has truly been a life saver!!

I started practicing this program daily and in less than a month feel better than I have in years. I perform the exercises first thing in the morning (often before morning coffee - big deal for me). It only takes 25 minutes so it is quick and a wonderful way to wake up. Gary Kraftsow guides the therapeutic yoga practice on the DVD. He is the founder, director and senior Teacher of American Viniyoga Institute's Teacher and Therapist Trainings. The DVD features short and simple therapeutic yoga postures which are designed to alleviate low back, sacrum and hip pain. It contains thorough and simple instruction on how to safely practice the postures, and includes three complete therapeutic practices which are presented in a class-like format with Gary verbally guiding you through each posture.  You can find the DVD on Amazon, Pranamaya,  or by visiting the Viniyoga website. I've included this link to a YouTube video  which is a short introduction to the practice. If you have any sort of back or upper body issues (there's one for the upper body as well), I strongly recommend you check out these DVD's.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a helpful post. I too sometimes suffer from back pains (though nothing like as severe as yours, from the sound of it) and I too hate taking pain meds. I will definitely have to look into this, and give it a try. Thanks for sharing, Canadian Chickadee