Monday, May 11, 2009
So in order to deal with chronic pain in my arms, shoulders, and back I've decided to heed the calls from the deep believers in my family, who tend to see yoga as a curative for everything. My first impulse with any Eastern semi-religious, cultural practice taken up by middle class folk from the United States is to see it as suspect and part of some search for "depth" elsewhere, when Western culture seems to them parched for meaning amidst rampant consumerism. Also, I didn't really want to get involved in discussions of "downward dog" over family visits.
But after some desperation feeling like the chronic inflammation of my tendinitis was not going to let up despite months break from bicycling, wrist braces whilst typing, and regular stretching I committed myself to a few classes to see if I experienced any change.
At first I felt as if I was aggravating the problem, I was sore the next day after a few sessions, moreover the instructor began and ended class with a chant of "om", at times she leads some meditations, and would sing songs about the "light within"--all laughable crap as far as I am concerned. But my neck and shoulders have started to feel significant relief, and some of the knots that have been cradled beneath my shoulder blades have for several days let up. Five has told me that I am much less grumpy after attending a class (is grumpy my usual state of being?). Taking a class is essential because the instructor tends to move you around to best achieve the stretches.
I think bicycling up hill almost every day with a timbuk2 shoulder bag and too much weight can be ascertained as a significant contributor for my pain, so I am attaching some links to yoga for bicyclists: