Yoga saved my life

(40 Posts)
ffab Sat 05-Nov-16 04:21:38

Had my DD in 1995 (second of two), my left sacroiliac joint was injured early in the pregnancy. For the next seventeen (yes seventeen) years I have had excrutiating lower back pain, so bad at times I couldn't get out of bed. I saw specialist after specialist, was given a tens machine and 'exercises' to do. Nothing helped.

Four years ago with support from my new DH I saw a brilliant Physio who strongly recommended that I cut back on weight training take up yoga (I had wrongly assumed that I needed to strengthen my weak back). He said that I wouldn't be very good at it as I had a naturally muscular and tight build. I also made the decision to give up my desk job as sitting for 8 hours a days was making things much worse.

Well it was hard, it was painful and I felt like an idiot a lot of the time because I was so much less flexible than everyone else.

Very slowly but surely I improved and my back pain got better. When I say better I mean no pain at all most days. I was shocked and quite frankly angry that no other health professionals had recommended this. Imagine being in too much pain to play with your children for most of their lives. When they were younger I'm sure they thought my name was "Oh mi back!"

I've learned so much about my body. I am built to move. Physio reckons I would have been a phenomenal sprinter (he works with athletes) if I had been spotted when younger. I can't stretch 'cold' so I have taken up running to warm up my muscles before I stretch them. Two years ago I completed my first 10k and now I run 5k once a week.

Now in my mid-fifties I teach spin, step and, yes, yoga. I get such a buzz out of helping other women achieve their physical potential.

My back is still a work in progress. A day lying on a couch will mess it up. For me it's simple, move or die.

I'd really encourage y'all to keep going. It's worth it. I'm probably the least flexible yoga teacher on the planet but my ladies love my class and I love them. It's about giving them the encouragement and support I wish I'd had years ago.

OP’s posts: |
PikachuSayBoo Sat 05-Nov-16 06:13:24

That's fab. Ive got a bad back and my physio recommended Pilates and that's helped a lot. I do keep thinking about going to yoga classes at my new gym so might try that as well. I do a few yoga YouTube videos at home and enjoy it.

naichick Sat 05-Nov-16 06:43:22

Great to hear your story OP. Yoga helped me through post natal depression, I love it!

CurtainsforRonnie Sat 05-Nov-16 06:51:42

I looked at local classes this week and at £9 a go, its too much for me. Its such a shame, as I think its exactly whats needed.

My local gym holds cheaper classes but Im working when they are on.

My toddler & I went together once and really loved it. I think there are numerous benefits.

Blueberry234 Sat 05-Nov-16 06:59:49

I would like to go to yoga as have very similar back issues but all the classes around here are full of experienced yoga people I will look so out of place.

naichick Sat 05-Nov-16 07:03:56

Yoga with adrienne on you tube is a great place to start if youre finding the classes too pricy. It might be worth trying a session then maybe having a chat with the teacher to see if you could get it a bit cheaper if you book 6 sessions for example.

naichick Sat 05-Nov-16 07:05:52

**Blueberry don't worry about kther people and their experience, you have to start somewhere and the majority of yoga classes are very welcoming and friendly even if its your first ever class.

tomatoplantproject Sat 05-Nov-16 21:17:40

I hear you!

Yoga helped me cope through the toughest thing I have had to deal with (kicking out my cheating ex).

The by-products are that I am heaps calmer, and all of the low level pain I used to have is gone. I recently went on a yoga retreat and have come out of it with a zest for life I haven't felt in years.

I would be in a very different place mentally and physically if I hadn't found my way on to a mat somehow. I am not very flexible and feel like I should be able to do more poses than I can, but heh ho, one day.

LifeLong13 Sat 05-Nov-16 21:21:06

Yeeeeees! So good to hear someone talking about the amazing benefits of yoga for the spirit and body!

ffab Sat 05-Nov-16 22:10:35

@blueberry234 please don't be put off by the flexible slim women at yoga classes. People tend to gravitate to what they are good at. Skinny people are often more flexible but can be very weak as they don't do strength training. Muscular types like me (muscular with a good covering of fat) shy away from the 'stretchy' stuff.

But you need to do the stuff that you find hard, that is where your body is weak. I found a lot of my routines on you tube. The best was 'yoga for runners' (search for Fiji McAlpine). I can't tell you how fiendishly hard I found it to begin with, many times I would just stop after a few minutes, it was just too hard. But the thought of going back to the constant pain of my dodgy back kept me going. (Also DH is sixteen years younger than me and I want to hand a long and active life with him!)

OP’s posts: |
ffab Sat 05-Nov-16 22:15:02

Great to hear. I tried pilates but for some reason it just didn't click with me. It's so worth persevering until you find something that works for you.

OP’s posts: |
ffab Sat 05-Nov-16 22:18:07

Yoga is great fun with toddlers and children. I am not getting on with my 21 year old DD at all at the moment but yoga is one of the few things she will do with me occasionally.

OP’s posts: |
ffab Sat 05-Nov-16 22:24:40

I've mainly been working on the body but am just starting to look at the mind and spirit. It felt a bit 'new age' to me at first but I'm trying to suspend my disbelief and just relax into it.

OP’s posts: |
LifeLong13 Sun 06-Nov-16 19:38:15

The breathing techniques are great & I wear an Apple Watch which reminds me and guides me through them each day

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Nov-16 20:04:12

Great to hear your story, OP. Yoga helped me enormously, as well.

I turned to yoga after a knee injury. It was nothing short of miraculous for my knee. I am now completely pain-free smile

About 6 months into regular practice, I also noticed that my back had straightened shock Many years of working in front of a computer & heavy reading had left me with round shoulders but yoga fixed that, without me even noticing.

It's magic, I tell you smile

HermioneWeasley Sun 06-Nov-16 20:08:54

What would you recommend YouTube wise for an unfit and inflexible old bird?

msrisotto Sun 06-Nov-16 20:10:50

Yoga has really helped with muscular pain due to hyper-flexibility and weakness. Much more than boring exercises ever did.

As you mentioned needing to warm up - I wanted to recommend Hot Yoga to you. That's how I discovered Yoga and I bloody love it! Especially now it's cold.

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Nov-16 20:17:29

Hermione - Yoga With Adrienne on YouTube gets a lot of love on these threads, because her beginner classes are gentle yet fun. She doesn't take herself too seriously, either. You might like to give her 30 Days Of Yoga series a go.

HermioneWeasley Sun 06-Nov-16 20:27:59

Thanks cote

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Nov-16 20:39:22

Let me know how you get on.

Once you get past the beginner stage, I can give far better recommendations smile

HermioneWeasley Sun 06-Nov-16 20:49:54

Now I feel I've let you down. Did the first 10 minutes and got bored! I'm not sure that anything about being centred or mindful is really for me (happy being mindless I guess...)

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Nov-16 21:27:17

In that case, you might like to go straight to more physical types of yoga like Vinyasa or Ashtanga. Try 10 minutes of one of those and then let's talk about whether you are bored or not grin

I am not a fan of sitting around "being mindful", either, which is why I do Vinyasa Yoga. One pose flows into another, usually at a rate of 1 breath/pose. There isn't much sitting around at all.

LifeLong13 Sun 06-Nov-16 21:50:50

Ashtanga is my fav! And Hot yoga! There isn't a studio near me but there was one at London Bridge & I used to go after work. There's always group on vouchers for there too

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Nov-16 22:05:12

I've never tried Hot Yoga. Being hot and sweaty just doesn't sound terribly pleasurable to me. Some friends seem to like it, though.

msrisotto Mon 07-Nov-16 07:47:18

Fair enough Cote, my DH is perpetually too hot and would absolutely hate it. I, on the other hand, am usually cold and rarely feel too hot, even in hot yoga. It is very hard work though, lots of vinyasa flows and I sweat buckets. It's very invigorating and slower or less active variations of yoga might not do it for me in the same way.

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