Several years ago, I had a back injury and was diagnosed with a crumbling spine. I’ve always enjoyed exercise and have spent many years teaching in the fitness industry and training for my own enjoyment. As I lay on the trolley in Accident and Emergency I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without training and teaching.
It took quite a while for the pain to subside and during that time I had lots to reflect upon. Would it be the end of my career? Would I be in chronic pain all my life with reduced mobility?
I started to think about the things I enjoyed most – and got the most pleasure out of teaching. This was when the dream for my own yoga studio started to emerge.
Practising yoga has been my lifeline back to health, especially so in my hot yoga studio where flexibility is greatly enhanced in the hot environment. I’ve learned to manage my back injury, paying attention to the things that irritate it and the things that strengthen it. This raised awareness helps me demonstrate and teach at the level I do.
I’m not saying that yoga will work for everyone, but if you can find a great yoga teacher near you, you might be amazed, as I was, at the progress you can make and the reduction in pain it is possible to achieve. If you train with an expert who can quickly see exactly what you need to do and who will check your alignment in each posture, within weeks you will notice a difference.
The posture above is a seated twist or rotation called Ardha Matsyendrasana in Sanskrit or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose. It’s one of many great postures for energising the spine and increasing flexibility in the shoulders and neck. Traditionally this pose is thought to destroy deadly diseases and awaken the energy at the base of your spine.
Please consult your doctor before making changes to your lifestyle such as going on a diet or embarking on an exercise programme.