|(Photo credit: Rebecca Gallagher)|
As you may recall from my last post, I waded back into the Intermediate pool for the first time since my surgery while visiting family in the Midwest. The practice felt good at the time, but there have been some worrisome delayed repercussions. Though the incisions have healed well enough, there is a distinctive sensation of tissues tearing if I try to bend back too far, followed later by swelling and the sensation of bruising but without the color. Clearly, more recovery time is needed. I wonder why this hasn't kicked in until now...
Backbends, especially those involving shoulder extension (a la Urdhva Dhanurasana and Kapotasana) are completely out. So I've been sticking with Primary minus the finishing backbends and supplementing that with the occasional Vinyasa practice to give me a little more freedom in the front-body opening options. I'm also taking this opportunity to work on strengthening the core a little more in the interest of finally getting those handstands and pretty floaty things under my belt. As many of you know, I do pull-ups and chin-ups from time to time to keep my shoulders safe from all the Chaturangas. Well, a couple of weeks ago I started doing pike pull-ups, with the legs lifted parallel to the floor for the duration of the set. The first time I tried it, I could feel my body grabbing in all the right places, all the spots I try to access when practicing handstands and pikes and the like. Today's Primary revealed that they are indeed making a difference, and I'm excited to see how much this supplemental practice can help.
It's hard not doing the backbends. Everything about Primary makes my body simply beg for it, not to mention the fact that backbends, especially the drop backs, have been instrumental in managing the two bulging discs in my low back. In this past week alone, I have noticed an increase in the compression I feel around the spine and that old familiar "crunchy" feeling in the early forward folds. Not good. Must bend back. A compromise is needed. For now, Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose) and Ustrasana (Camel Pose) will have to suffice.