10 weeks ago yesterday I broke my spine in a motorbike accident – you can read what happened here. Initially I was told I had broken my L1 vertebra and was prescribed a back brace, crutches and an unholy amount of cocodamol which I never took.
I really needed the back brace andthe crutches after the accident. I couldn’t walk on my own without the support of both. And even with those two to help me, I couldn’t make myself a cup of tea or run myself a bath for the first 2 weeks. I felt close to completely helpless. The only thing I could do was sleep, read, watch Netlfix (obviously) and practice copious amounts Yoga Nidra to hopefully boost my healing response. I knew I was one of the lucky ones, that I could heal, but it didn’t stop the difficult moments getting to me.
The accident was July 17th. It has taught me that I really am not someone to take this lying down (so to speak!). I did as much as I could whenever I could. As soon as I could make my own lunches and dinners, I was cooking. As soon as I could carry lightweight objects, I was putting the rubbish out. As soon as I could drive, or perhaps a little too soon before I could drive, I was behind the wheel.
Quantum physics says that matter – at the smallest level – isn’t solid. It’s clouds of energy, and it’s impossible to know for sure what it’s doing unless you measure it. When you measure it, all the possibilities it could hold (the wave function) collapse into one outcome.
I think that rings true of any situation. I can’t see the future, but I’ll give it all my best shot and see how things turn out.
This New Scientist article goes on to say, “How did our universe come to be, out of a seemingly vast number of equally likely possibilities allowed by the laws of physics?”
You love Yoga and Hot Yoga, and you’ve been practicing consistently for a while. You love the way it makes you feel, and you really notice when you can’t go for any reason. Life just seems simpler and more manageable when you practice regularly, even though nothing’s really changed. Sure, there are times when you feel like just staying at home and vegging out. But you get up and get to class anyway, because you know that you’ll be glad you did.
Does any of this ring true for you? Yep, you’ve got the Hot Yoga bug alright!
If this is you, then you’ve already come a long way. If you could see the person you were, if you could see your posture shapes the first time you went to class, then you’d be amazed at how much you’ve changed since then. It might feel like that’s all thanks to the magic of Yoga and Hot Yoga. And it is, but there’s more: it’s your hard work that’s moved you forward, and the good guidance of the studio and teachers you’ve stuck with.
We’ve all had wobbles on the yoga mat; the teacher instructs us to lift through the arches of the feet or keep our gaze steady and find our balance, and what happens? We wobble, we sometimes come out of the pose, occasionally we fall over. Thankfully our bodies are forgiving. Hopefully we are forgiving of ourselves; we might giggle, steady our breath and come back into the pose with renewed insight into how we find our balance.
What happens when we wobble in life? What happens when something happens in our lives sends us off-balance? Are we as forgiving of ourselves? And what happens when our wobbles, whether big or small, happen when you’re embarking on a transformational journey like yoga teacher training?
Written by Kate Hardcastle, a Yogafurie Hot Yoga Instructor and a graduate of Yogafurie Academy Teacher Training
We may have heard of HIIT yoga, OM Yoga Weights and Fitness Yoga used to describe classes and workshops before. What does this mean? Why is fitness becoming a big thing in the many different types of yoga on offer?
Have you ever been in a yoga class and your instructor holds you in plank (uttitha chaturanga dandasana) for so long that you feel like collapsing in a puddle on the mat? How about that inward groan as you lower down into chair (utkatasana) for the twentieth time before you’ve even reached halfway through? Do you experience shaky legs after your class?
Okay so when I say ‘the’ creep I’m being playful. What I mean is creep. And you can turn radiohead off in your brainbox because this version of creep may be one you are unfamiliar with. Creep is the way in which our bodies, that is to say the muscles and their connecting tissues, react to stress over time.
So I am 3 sessions in now and on track for my ‘warm up act’ target! I would have aimed for more but having had nearly 18 months away from the studio baby steps is my approach!
I am glad too, session 1 was a big eye opener! Despite the recent heat wave, it is still surprising how hot the studio can feel when you first enter. Whilst I quickly acclimatized, it is fair to say my yoga (and balance) was a little rusty and I had forgotten all the little extras that make all the difference, specifically a water bottle and hand towel! So whist thoroughly enjoyable, I was definitely a wobbly and unnaturally sweaty student with envious eyes on the many water bottles surrounding me!
After such a long time, it was really good to get back into the studio. I was a little nervous as I had not been in since Will my son had been diagnosed, so it was definitely a little emotional to return. That said, once I had gotten over my initially exhaustion and self-inflicted dehydration, I was pleased to again experience the jump in energy levels and contentment I remembered from before.
Now three sessions in and I am pleased to see how quickly the steadiness and flexibility is returning. Although whilst thoroughly entertaining to try, Aaron’s hand stands are still a little way off!
The quadricep, hamstrings, and hip flexors get a lot of attention in yoga. Yet, there is another muscle that is commonly used in yoga, but one that you may have never heard of. That muscle is the serratus anterior.
The serratus anterior is a deep muscle that supports and abducts the scapula. ‘Serratus’ is a Latin word that means, ‘saw-like’ and refers to the appearance of this muscle. The serratus anterior might not be mentioned very often in your yoga class, but you use it every single time you move into High Plank.
The serratus anterior in terms of an asana-based yoga practice
The serratus anterior slow our descent from High Plank into Chaturanga. When these muscles are weak, we come crashing down.
The serratus anterior originates at the side of the first through eight ribs. It runs laterally around the rib cage, passes underneath the scapula to insert on its medial border. The serratus anterior acts to abduct the scapula, or pull them away from each other. So when your yoga teacher tells you to, ‘push the floor away from you’ or to ‘lift up out of your shoulders’, it is the serratus anterior abducting the scapula which allows you to perform those actions. The action of the serratus anterior is critical for several other positions. Continue reading “Serratus Anterior – Yoga Anatomy”→
*warning – a tad of strong language follows. But I broke my back so I think it’s okay!
It’s a day like any other. Work, family, jokes, laughter, plans for my practice later, plans for dinner with my husband, enjoying the challenges of day to day life. I leave work at about 1:30, grateful to finish the day early and get a longer time to myself for my yoga practice.
The accident is a blur. One moment I’m swinging my leg over my motorbike with the familiar feeling of excitement for a fun packed 2 wheeled journey. The next moment, I smash into the side of a van. I’m in excruciating pain, in the middle of the road with the impending threat of a shouting van driver. So..much..pain. The van driver is screaming and shouting. I’m in the middle of the road with surrounding traffic. My bike is making unhappy noises. And I have this looming threat of being called a “stupid woman” in the back of my mind (at least that seems to be the tone of the van driver in the moment).
A lady wants to call the ambulance but I’m not sure. I have to move, but my back won’t let me. I drag myself as close to the curb as I can before giving up and laying in the road, in direct sunlight.
Now the pain REALLY sets in! Wow my back. Fuck. Seriously. Ouch. Yes call the ambulance because I can’t move anywhere without making a serious situation even worse.
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