Yoga to the rescue!

When I was over 60 pounds heavier to say I had a lot of problems with my lower back would be an understatement.  One year right around Christmastime 2005 my back “went out” so bad that all I could do is lie in bed all day.  I couldn’t spend any time with my family that Christmas because even sitting hurt and when I did sit I couldn’t pull myself back up, I had to have the help of my family to get me on my feet.  Thankfully it never went out so bad that I couldn’t crawl to the bathroom but I was only one step away from that.

Slide on in to 2011 and since I started strength training, lost a bit of weight off of my chest, strengthened my core, etc., I don’t have back problems as frequently and they haven’t been as severe as 2005.  I had just been thinking to myself last week about how I haven’t had an issue in awhile.  That is until yesterday….

Yesterday was a beautiful day, warm with blue skies and finally no rain!  I decided that it was now time to venture onto the Rails to Trails bike path for a nice long bike ride.  (Side note:  The Rails to Trails is an old railroad line ripped out and now made into a bike/walk/hiking path in the woods – it’s really beautiful and if you finish this whole post I have a surprise!)

I got my bike around, supplies gathered, made the 20 minute drive to the beginning of the trail and had myself a 25 mile bike ride round trip.  It truly was a beautiful day and very enjoyable.  The ride went without a hitch, that is until I got back to the parking area and decided to use the “facilities” before making the drive home.  When I stepped off my bike I realized I had a kink in my back and I had to do the lower back shuffle to the restroom area.  (If you’ve ever had lower back problems you know EXACTLY what the lower back shuffle is!)

It wasn’t that bad.  It just felt like my hamstrings may have been a little tight and causing my back to have a spasm.  So, I made the trip home and after I got myself in order upon arrival I decided I should do some yoga to try to relax it.

I started doing yoga about 2 years ago but I didn’t have the love for it like I do now.  I had done a few exercise DVDs of it like P90x Yoga, Iron Yoga and a few others.  Although I did enjoy the Iron yoga, I wasn’t too keen on any others.  It wasn’t until about a year ago that I really started to like it.  I found that I enjoy being able to hold my own bodyweight.  I couldn’t do that when I was heavier.  Heck, I could barely get myself off of the floor when I was overweight.  I also love yoga because after beating myself up at the gym and in my living room 7 days a week, the stretching component is a welcome relief to my muscles.

So, I found a nice yoga routine on Exercise TV with Chris Freytag who is a great instructor at all she does and after completing it my back, hamstrings and glutes felt stretched.  I didn’t, however, feel completely “put back together.”  So I decided to do some extra stretching of my own and placed a leg up on a sturdy chair for some forward folds and then it happened.  I heard a loud “CRACK.”  Now, you’re probably gasping – OMG – but no this wasn’t a painful crack or crunching noise – this was my hip going back into socket and it was the most glorious feeling ever.  I credit the yoga to stretching me out and relaxing me enough for this to happen.  Otherwise a trip to the chiropractor may have been in order.

If you’ve taken the time to read this post I commend you!  You certainly deserve some pictures of the Rails to Trails for your viewing pleasure.  This to me is one step closer to heaven.  I love it there!

Pine Creek

Railroad bridge

Bridge of 220

Railroad car

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8 Responses to “Yoga to the rescue!”

  1. As I sit here with a sore back and cranky neck. I realize I totally have to try yoga. What do you suggest beginning with?

    • Here is a link to a free beginner yoga workout on Exercise TV (may have to cut and paste) http://www.exercisetv.tv/workout-videos/body-sculpting/beginner-yoga-3933

      I didn’t do this program because I am beyond it in my practice but I did watch it and I did notice she was modifying moves that I would be doing at a different level which is good for a beginner! It also seemed to give some good stretching for your hamstrings which affect your back. You could even look around on this Exercise TV website for other yoga videos or any other free full-length video they offer. It’s a great site and you may have it On Demand from your cable company as well (like me).

      I would suggest Rodney Yee as an instructor however I think you should try a free sample of yoga and see if you even like it before you buy anything. This video I posted says it gives the fundamentals and explains things like breathing,etc.

  2. I really missed having a yoga session at the Team Beachbody Conference. There were a lot of hard core workouts. I will definitely get in a yoga session this week. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. I haven’t been to an actual Yoga class, but I’ve learned some at home moves that have helped with my lower back pain. My favorite move is the Cat-Camel. I use it every day and I haven’t had back pain in almost 2 years! Thanks for this blog 🙂

  4. I used to have problems w my back and yoga fixed it! After a bit of time, I had that same POP – and the angels sang…. i’m not as dedicated to my mat time – sigh…

    Yet another todo!

  5. I sprained a ligament in my SI joint 15 yrs ago for the same reasons you cited: excess weight, poor flexibility and weak core muscles. I know exactly what you mean when you say yoga and exercise has helped you – great job for KNOWING and DOING!

  6. Theophilus Says:

    I enjoy your pictures. My father used to work on the railroad., and I am into model railroading. I also enjoy visiting places where there are trains, and enjoy your beautiful photos.

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