For the past year my back, which has been giving me issues off and on for years, has been bad. It has been so bad, that I’ve actually been to the doctor a couple of times, been unable to stand up for an hour or two at a time and been hobbled like an old fart for a couple week long intervals.
Through all of this, the only thing the doctors have been to offer is drugs and sympathy. My medical doctor told me it was osteoarthritis or wear and tear arthritis and was a result of old age. He offered drugs, his advice to slow down a bit and after I refused both, a referral to a physical therapist.
The physical therapist watched me do some basic stretches, had me bend and twist and generally put me in all sorts of positions guaranteed to cause me pain. After which she declared the root of all my issues, at least the physical ones, the mental issues require a different type of doctor, was a weak core.
Her prescription was core exercises, quality time with an exercise ball and she strongly recommended regular doses of yoga. Now, I used to be kind of a gym rat. I went to the gym practically every day and did the lifting, grunting, sweating type exercises for several years. For the past few years, I’ve given up the gym life and taken up cycling. Through all of this the one thing I’ve never done is yoga.
Yoga is something famous actresses do right? Middle aged bald guys don’t do yoga. Besides, yoga requires flexibility and if there’s one thing I’m not, it’s flexible. I can barely put my shoes on in the morning without dislocating a hip.
Well, I’ve been doing the core exercises, I’ve spent some quality time with the exercise ball and still my back is bothering me. Not as bad as before, but still not good. And, with ski season coming up, I can’t risk not being at full strength…..so, yoga it is…..
My youngest has been doing yoga for a while now. She has all the channels on the on-demand cable stations mapped out and tonight picked one out that was targeted at beginners….so, with the mantra of nothing ventured nothing gained ringing in my ears, I dove in and gave it a try….
We did downward facing dog, we did child pose, we did stretches, we did twists, we did strength poses….we did everything and it all HURT. And, not just my back….My core hurt, my sides hurt, my arms quivered, even my legs were twitching and I got a mad cramp in the arch of my foot.
Afterwards though, as I sit here and type, the one thing that doesn’t really hurt is my back. Sure it’s only been a little while and I am sitting in my big comfy chair, but my back actually feels pretty good…..we’ll see how I feel tomorrow morning when I try to get out of bed which is always the worst part of my day….