Some of you might know this already (sorry for repeating myself again 😉 but for the rest of you guys, I want to tell my story, what brought me to yoga.
You may have read about this in my bio, so to refresh your memory I’m a lawyer. I’m also a special kind of lawyer. Is the acronym JAG mean anything to you? Maybe maybe not. It means Judge advocate general, which is my trade in the Canadian military. I’m military. During the day, I wear my Army uniform (beautiful pastel green color 😉 lol) and the rest of my free time, lunch hours, after work, evening and weekends and even real early in the morning (like 6am early), I teach yoga.
My best friend Genevieve in Quebec city, Canada, introduce me to hot yoga, damn, it was hard ! How could someone sane practice yoga in a hot room? Like seriously ? 😉 Ego took over and I went back, again and again, everywhere I went, I was looking for a yoga centre. Place to get out of my head, into my body and my breath. I took my YTT, I wanted to teach.
I broke my back badly on my basic training course in the military and I have one herniated disc in my cervical spine, and three herniated discs in my lumbar spine, and my left hip isn’t rotated properly posteriorly so it hurts day and night like hell.
At first, yoga was painful but you know what, I didn’t care much. The specialist who kinda follow my case (and treatment) for my back (or lack of) assured me that studies have showed that yoga could have beneficial effect on back issues and other medical issues (oh well). Pain was part of my life, you get used to it. I tried so many pain medication, name it, I tried it ! (like seriously ! everything a doctor can prescribe as a narcotic, I tried it). I must have a marker in my DNA that prevent medication from working, coz pain was always there and no buzz of any kind 😉 I didn’t receive the help I needed from health professional, unfortunately it is so easy to say “there is nothing to do about it once a disc is herniated”. What if there was more to that ?
One day I decided to see by myself a physio (out of the military ! yeah I did, by the way, it’s not prohibited, but Army health services won’t cover the fees that’s it), one hour and a half of treatment (like a real physio should do) and she said to me, “I can show you to replace your hip”. What? So we did some test and re-test without feeling the usual pain while bending forward (whaou!!!!) and she did with me what no one has done before: take the time to properly examine my body. She showed me what was misplaced with my left hip and then showed me self-manipulation of the iliac crest bone, (the ilium is the largest bone of the pelvis) and she fixed me, or should I say, she showed me how to fix myself. By repeating the movement regularly using my own hands, my brain was going to map the correct placement of the hip and I won’t have to do it anymore. I can now bend forward without wanting to kill someone 😉 from pain (of course).
But what about my back and neck I hear you ask? (I’m totally laughing right now) So let me get back to my yoga story. I’ve been practicing yoga for years, and one day I met a really good yoga teacher, not because his class were awe inspiring, no, but because he was doing more than yoga I knew : he teaches movement based yoga classes. What the hell is that ? Yeah, that’s what I thought the first time I went to his class. What he teach is learning how to move your body like it should. Using your feet properly, keeping them straight, and why they should be like this (I love WHY type of question, my brain needs to understand). Realizing I thought my feet were straight but the were externally rotated (weird?), and the capacity I now have to think about the proper alignment at all time (yes, ALL the time). I learned to use my glutes : did you know you don’t know how to use your glutes muscles properly ? Oh and shoulder blades ! Down in your back ! Position of the knees and relationship with the rest of your body. I learned the WHY in yoga asanas and movement, the reason for alignment: ligaments, muscles, joints, loads on the body. I completed a YTT with that teacher, even if I would have skip some part due to personal ego (not mine!), it was a eyes opening YTT. I learned an important thing: knowing what is wrong and what is right for my body. And I learned to stop following instructions from yoga teachers when they didn’t make any sense 😉 (Hush !!!)
My back isn’t better, same thing for my neck, but there is a major difference. Now I know how to move my body to avoid creating pressure in my lower spine, compressing my vertebrae. I know how to move better and I believe it makes me a better yoga teacher (and I totally have certain OCD traits of character 😉 so I’m focusing a lot my personal practice and also my teaching, on proper movement, telling people to move more, proper alignment and “teaching” and not just guiding students in my class. I don’t have a good “yoga back”, I will not impress anyone with my backbends, but I know how to do them properly and I can teach you. Have you seen recently on social media, all those beautiful pictures of yoginis, in a handstand far from the wall, but their butt on the wall with their back arched to the extreme ? Ouch ! It’s pretty, but is it done properly…? Is your body ready ?
My next blog articles will be on some interesting facts about posture and applying your new knowledge to yoga. And I’ll be writing a special article for yogis who wants to learn more on how to sequence properly.
Have a safe practice,
Love, Live, Light
@myinnerfire #myinnerfire #innerfireluminary #luminaryambassador #yogaeveryday #yogaforlife #Iloveyoga #sportheque #studioyama
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