I re-injured my back mountain biking a couple of months back and have been trying to play through it. Finally, alas, I’ve been forced to deal with it head on and take some time off. Well, not off exactly, but focused. And the primary point of this focus has been on morning yoga.
Yoga and stabilization exercises were the cornerstone of my rehab last year. A year after the injury I felt as though I was 90% back. After my Mexico trip in March I allowed my focus to wane a little. I was still doing both but not with the same fervor. I wrenched my back a bit in a small crash but it was pain that I could deal with so I kept trying to perform and ramp up my biking mileage. The pain, however, has steadily increased to the point where it’s no longer possible that it’s residual. Something new is wrong.
My standard policy on most injuries is to rehab first and see doctors later. My theory is that the rehab is going to happen, one way or another, so you might as well try it first. This keeps me (and clients) out of the doctors’ office 9 times in 10. After a week it seems to be going well again.
I hadn’t been totally avoiding yoga but I hadn’t been doing actual classes or videos. As a trainer I usually don’t need these things. I know what I want to do and, in fact, almost always train harder when I’m alone and not doing a video. Probably due to my sports background I’m more intense by myself. My sets are more focused. I also concentrate better and, thus, recover quicker between exercises. This competitive nature has the opposite effect on yoga, where intensity is not the objective. Classes and videos slow me down, reduce the intensity, and increase its effectiveness. A lot.
Now, like all those months when I was acutely injured, each day begins with a yoga class (in video or in person). I’m going to keep this up until the pain is gone. I’m so much better than I was a week ago that I find it hard to conceptualize how I went so many years not doing yoga at all.
pic: romney in the canyonlands