A few months ago, a friend began offering yoga online twice weekly. I love her and her energy and I have benefitted from yoga in the past, so I gave it a try. It's an intense hour and it took me many weeks before I could do more than half of the poses she leads us through. I am more competitive than I like to admit and I don't often stick with things that don't come easily. This time, I was kinder to myself than I normally would be since I had just come through chemotherapy. I was also motivated to try to get stronger in preparation for surgery. It just makes sense to me that stronger muscles are more likely to be flexible, to recover their flexibility and to tolerate the challenges of surgical injury and recovery better.
Carrie's classes are still quite a challenge for me and I have yet to get through a session without having to accommodate or retreat to child's pose to take a break. She often offers modifications that increase the intensity of the pose and I rarely even consider most of those modifications.
Yoga is really helping me. I could and still can feel myself getting stronger. I feel more stable in all the poses. I feel that strength persisting into the rest of my life. My balance is better. I am more flexible. I really sense the flexibility in the garden. Every day I can reach my arms further over my head with less discomfort.
I want to really give a shout out to yoga for the rotational flexibility that I would likely not have even noticed was needed. In my daily life, I rarely rotate my trunk (maybe reaching into the back seat while in the car), so I didn't notice how much my chest tissues need that movement and are needed for that movement. Yoga moves me through that range, pointing out how tight I was and still am. Different rotational poses bring stretch and mild intensity to different tissues. Daily there is more movement and space.
Yoga also brings up emotional and spiritual stuck or tight places for my attention and grounds me to be able to take on the work of being more flexible and rooted energetically.
Highly recommended for times of health challenges or times of good health.
Be well. Breathe. Elizabeth