Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back at It [The Lab]

Towards the end of last week, I found myself back at the physical therapy clinic after a week long vacation.

I was closing in on a month of doing nothing in the world of exercise. I found myself wondering if and when I'd ever taken such a long break before. 

After going through the paces of heat, warm up, deep tissue massage, excercises and ice, I asked my physical therapist a question -

Can I go back to yoga?

To which he nodded his head yes. 

After doing a whole lot of nothing as only a blob on the couch can, I could finally do something. 

The next day, I walked back into The Lab. The instructors were surprised to see me and asked where I had been. It felt good to be back in the studio.

I grabbed my mat and prepped for class. As I sat on my mat (which I leave at the studio), I realized just how much it smelled. I know I sweat a lot on it, but holy sh-t. I'm surprised the instructors stop by to adjust me with that smell radiating off my mat.

Mental Note: Take mat home and wash it.

I reminded myself that I may have lost some of the strength and flexibility I'd built up before my injury. I asked myself to not be frustrated by this. Injuries happen. People can recover from injuries to become bigger, better athletes.

Not that I need to be any bigger/taller, but you get the point. 

Then class began. I had missed the pace of the class. The warmup. The music. Stretching and strengthening both sides of the body. Then the peak pose. I wondered if I would be able to do it today.

I stayed away from some of the poses that I remember being painful before I started PT - standing splits, warrior three. When you're hanging out in downward dog waiting for the next cue, sometimes these now-impossible poses seem to last forever.

"Just be happy you're here." I remind myself. Don't get frustrated.

Class then moved out of the peak pose (and deep hip pose which I babied) and over to the once-dreaded, but now much-beloved wall. Ah yes, it's inversion time. One of my favorite parts of class. But after not doing an inversion for a month, I wondered what I could still do. I did just a few, taking my time to not pull too much on my right hip. They were not my straightest, lightest or longest-balancing forearm balances, but they were a place to start.

It's ok, I'm happy with that today.

Working my way back to the strength I had here.

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