A Visit To the Osteopath For MinyWife

It seems there can be a thing as too much yoga, it is sad to report on these pages. Many a weekend MinyWife and I would be absent from our friends’ social lives with our main focus on ourselves and our wellbeing, sometimes totting up over 10 hours of yoga on weekends. We are fortunate to have discovered two very good studios close to home and the All-You-Can-Ommm packages appealed to the Yorkshireman in me!

Following a remarkable period of weight loss since last August, we are increasing in density once more. I might be perceived as blowing our combined trumpets here, but we did manage to remove 15Kg each from our bodies, in a period that ended in January this year. A fabulous achievement in terms of focus, willpower and determination across both exercise and diet. What with a major operation, honeymoon, general summertime lethargy and MinyWife not smoking since 1st May all coming into play since January, we are not back to our hefty former selves but heading that way without a concerted effort.

Hence the push back towards yogathons on the weekend. Unfortunately, after one particularly demanding 5.30am Ashtanga class, we both came away with cricked necks and hurting shoulders. Literally shrugging this off as a symptom of getting used to a different style with a new teacher, we carried on regardless without the pain subsiding. Weeks later, MinyWife received a text from her osteopath, a rearranged appointment forgottenly made months ago. A truly brilliant medical professional, or so I am told after the excellent 30 minute diagnosis and treatment sessions by MinyWife, well worth the outlay even though not covered on our company medical insurance.

The doctor made the common sense observation that yoga will have a very different impact on a body depending on it’s size, shape and weight. Therefore exercise done when slim is likely to be easier than that undertaken with more girth. Hence, all those Ashtanfga-driven downward dogs carrying an extra 5Kg here or there will apply increased pressure on our arms and shoulders. This stellar advice in mind, we are refocusing our exertions towards Bikram, Pilates and milder forms of Hatha yoga until we both trim down closer to previous levels. Wish us luck.

And, depending on our mood, we might even reveal the doctor’s name if you ask nicely. No promises…

Image courtesy of StockSnap.io, a fantastic copyright free stock image resource

Yoga with a stiff neck

Bikram. Ashtanga. Hatha. Vinyasa. Yin. Iyengar. Even gong meditation. We love them all and at all times of day. Our weekends are devoted to a yogathon of sorts, normally spending at least half our weekend travelling to or from or actually “doing” yoga. But there comes a time when we need to take our foot off the gas a tad, and this is one of those weeks.

5.30am Ashtanga classes are awesome, because it is almost a normal time to wake up. And by the time the class finishes at 7am the day is in full swing as you move from breakfast to shower to car to office without blinking. Except this week, our regular teacher has gone for a two week training session – I am loathe to call it a retreat, but I suppose it is – and the stand-in teacher, unlike the reserve teachers at primary school, is entirely competent. The issue is we aren’t.

One of the appeals of Ashtanga is that it is a thorough workout, balanced with meditative sessions to open and close a class, but the main essence is to work your  core and whole body through a series of poses, postures and stances, body consistently shaking throughout. The only respite tends to be at the very end, when you hear what has quickly become my favourite yoga phrase: “shavasna“.

The Corpse Pose is apparently difficult, but after over an hour of fairly intensive stretching, focused breathing and balancing against my body’s natural instincts, it seems like the easiest thing in the world to lay on your back and breathe. MAybe I am missing something.

I digress. The new teacher normally takes the advanced classes and, being the teacher’s pets us MiNy’s might be known as, we pushed ourselves to the limit throughout and ended up with stiff necks the following day. Gutted. And the rest of the week has been spent recuperating and applying hot balm and getting Balinese massages. Not all bad, after all.