My practice of Yoga has been growing strong like the root of an aging oak tree since 2011 when I came to Yoga for healing. Little did I know that when I began this journey that 6 years on it would still continue to heal me and in the most unexpected ways.
I like to approach life with my children sometimes like I am a child myself, I play, I laugh and muck about and I especially love mucking about with my girls in playgrounds on climbing frames, having handstand competitions and trying to subtlety teach them to have confidence in themselves and their body.
But sometimes, this attitude can get me in trouble. Recently, while dramatically dismounting from a super springy trampoline I completely did my back in. I landed in what could only be described as a twisted wheel, landing with force and velocity. It hurt. I hurt all over, I totally lost my breath and was in shock hobbling around on all 4 afterward refusing to admit that my body had somehow not done exactly what I had intended it to do.
So I did the usual, get on with life and put up with it. But after a while, I knew there was something more serious going on. So I went to the doctor who was in agreement that I needed to be sent for MRI but would have to wait 4 weeks before I would be accepted for MRI. So I got a prescription for tablet A to eliminate this symptom, table B to take congruently with Tablet A and Tablet C in case tablet A gave me X reaction. Despite my reservations about this type of address to the issue, I had no choice but to follow the prescription to ease some of the tension and pain- that along with about 10kg of salts in hot baths!
So I went on with my practice, unable to leave the mat for cobra and as someone who really enjoys a deep backbend, this was really frustrating for me. I worked with my back like this for 3 weeks. Each time I eased into my back a little, afterward it would grunt and growl at me a little louder.
Although it was frustrating, it also taught me so much about my own practice. I was forced to explore different poses that I would usually shy away from. I found great comfort in inversions as it seemed to ease the pain and tension I was experiencing.
I got excellent advice from Finlay on how to adjust my practice and followed a sequence with great results. But it still wasn’t working into the part of my back that badly needed something! It was so frustrating.
Q Ariel Yoga. Finlay had mentioned before that maybe a back traction would help, but my body was so stiff I didn’t feel up to it. Until Monday night! So I sucked it up and got in the hammock, knowing that hanging upside down with the support of the hammock would at this stage only help to ease out some of the tension. And too right, I swung upside down and felt my spine lengthen away from all the tight muscles. After working into some more inversions, with the support of the material I felt a huge release. Whatever was stuck in my back, it was like it just popped.
I have not needed to take tablet A, B or C since. It like my back has been completely freed again. So in celebration yesterday I went to the swimming pool with the girls, jumped around in the waves and went down the shoot more times than a grown woman probably should and to top it off last night I came home and eased myself off the mat from Cobra all the way up to Updog! Celebrating getting into my back and opening my heart again.
Ariel Yoga, to me I honestly used to think it was a gimmick. But I can hand on heart say that it has helped me in so many ways- not only by healing my back but in numerous other ways too.
My inversions have gotten stronger, as I start to really trust and have faith going upside down. My arms have enjoyed developing more strength and awareness as I work from the tips of my fingers right up through to my shoulders. Legs and hips have been tested in ways that they have never been before on a ‘mat’ practice. Overall spatial awareness has improved and general confidence.
That and sometimes- it’s just fun!
Let’s be honest, we all love unleashing our inner child, and how best to do this than hanging upside down with safe guidance & having a laugh in a beautiful space- Healing on so many levels.